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Rooney recollection

Posted on 3 October 2003  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Pat Holland recalls taking in a Youth Cup game at West Ham where he had his first sighting of a player he described as being a 'boy in a man's body'.

The player in question, of course, is Everton striker Wayne Rooney. He first caught the attention of many just over a season and a half ago when his goals propelled the Blues to the final of the under-18 competition - beating Spurs in the semis - when he was just 16.

Rooney is now a Premiership regular and full England international and Pat admits that his rate of progress has taken him slightly by surprise.

"Yes, definitely," reflected Pat. "On the night at West Ham I was sitting with Roger Cross - the West Ham reserve team coach - and he said 'the kid over there is the one they are all looking at' - a chunky-ish boy who put himself about, I must admit.

"I got a video of the game later and he never really caught my eye at that time. We then got youth team reports before we played them and, to a man, everyone said that this fella is going to be a bit special.

"When we got there you could see the player that he is - terrific. It was like playing against a man, physique and fantastic determination and, above all, great ability."

"He scored against us in the second leg and came running over towards the bench. You looked at him and thought 'he is fearsome'. For him to come this far and get into the England side is just fantastic. When you get talent like that you can't hold it back."