Paul Gascoigne had a huge influence on Wayne Rooney growing up.
“I trained a couple of times at Everton with him. I was only about 14 or 15,” Rooney said a few years ago, per the Daily Mail.
“It was a great experience as a lad. I was going home and telling my mates, ‘I’ve just trained with Paul Gascoigne’.”
Gazza met a 14-year-old Rooney
Gazza knew early on that Rooney was going to be special.
Back in 2015, the former midfielder told an excellent story of the time he went to watch a 14-year-old Rooney in action for Everton’s Under 19s. He knew there and then that he was going to “brilliant”.
“I thought I’d stay and watch for a little bit and he came on when they were getting beat 1-0 with 20 minutes to go,” Gascoigne said on Soccer AM, per the Mail.
“He banged in two goals. I think you can watch them on TV – they’re incredible. What a player. I thought he’s going to be good.”
Gazza gave Rooney £40 beer money
Gascoigne went and spoke to the lads after the game – and it would provide the setting for his first ever exchange with Rooney.
It was a classic encounter that Gazza and Rooney would remember forever.
Gascoigne continued: “After the game I went in and said: ‘well done lads, I’ve got £40 spare, is anyone going out tonight?’
“Wayne Rooney said ‘I am’, so I went ‘here’s £40 quid, go and get yourself a couple of pints tonight.’
“That’s when I knew he was going to be brilliant. He’s got potential, that lad. He’s never given the £40 back so the interest is about £1.2million now!”
They recreated the moment in 2018
When the pair met up at Everton’s training ground in 2018, Gazza surprised Rooney by giving him another £40.
What a wholesome moment.
We wonder if Rooney has ever bothered to give Gazza the money back. It’s up to £80 now…