I liked his scouse swagger - Steven Gerrard recalls first impressions of Wayne Rooney

Steven Gerrard England

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was impressed with Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney’s 'scouse swagger' when he first saw him in action.

The United skipper made history for the England last month when he netted his record-breaking 50th goal for his country.

A second-half penalty in a 2-0 win over Switzerland saw Rooney edge above United legend Sir Bobby Charlton in the pecking order of great English goalscorers, and the achievement prompted a BBC documentary in his honour.

As a young midfielder in Liverpool’s ranks, Gerrard established himself as a fully fledged England international by the time Rooney’s name began to create a buzz around the city in the early 2000s.

Gerrard had already helped the Reds to five trophies across 2001 and was widely respected as one of the brightest midfield talents in Europe, and speaking about his fellow Liverpudlian, the LA Galaxy midfielder admitted that he was instantly taken to Rooney’s attitude and ability when he first saw him playing for Everton's youth team.

Gerrard told the BBC: “This name kept coming up to me Wayne Rooney, Wayne Rooney [and people were asking] ‘have you seen anything of him? Have you heard of him?’

“He was supposed to be a great player and there was a video going around of him scoring goals for Everton’s academy.

"I was aware of him before I met him, and then I went down to watch him.

“He won’t know this, but I went down to watch him and he scored a couple of goals and he had the scouse swagger and the attitude, and I thought: ‘Yeah, I quite like this lad’. I like what I seen.”

The pair eventually played together for England for over a decade, before Gerrard retired from the national set-up after the 2014 World Cup with over 100 caps to his name.

Rooney has succeeded Gerrard as captain and will lead Roy Hodgson’s men in next summer’s European Championships in France.

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