Wayne Rooney will be back in an Everton squad next month after the England captain agreed to play in a testimonial for his former teammate.
Manchester United striker Rooney and Ferguson were team-mates at Goodison Park in the early part of the last decade before Rooney decided to leave his boyhood club for the Red Devils in 2004.
The friendly will take place against Villarreal next month on August 2, so Rooney will have to return from his pre-season tour in America to meet up with the rest of Everton's testimonial squad to honour the player Rooney referred to as his "hero".
"As a young lad growing up in Croxteth, Duncan Ferguson was a hero of mine," Rooney told Everton's official website.
"As a young player at the club he was an inspiration and when I broke into the first team he helped and looked after me.
"I cannot think of a better way to thank Dunc for all he did for me than turning out in his fully deserved testimonial match. Had he not asked me to play I would have gone and supported him on the day as I am sure most other Evertonians will."
Rooney's relationship with Everton fans has diminished since joining United in 2004 however, he has received some cold receptions while playing in Goodison Park and the relationship hit an all time low when he kissed his current club's badge in front of the supporters in 2008.
Since then however, Rooney seems to have matured and the tension between the player and Everton supporters seems to have eased somewhat in the last number of years. Ferguson spoke of his delight at having Rooney on board for the friendly, "I'm absolutely delighted that the wee man has agreed to play in the game," Ferguson said, who has not ruled out playing in the contest himself.
"Everybody knows that we go way back. I knew him as a kid, he's a top man and I'm proud as his friend that he's fulfilled the potential we always knew was there.
"Wayne's a world-class player and I'm genuinely thrilled that he will play on the day, just as I'm so grateful to the club for putting on this game."
How do you think the Everton fans will receive Rooney when he turns out for them again?
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