Wayne Rooney has opened up on his ‘difficult’ past in his first ever interview on ITV Good Morning Britain.
The Manchester United football legend sat down with GMB presenter Ben Shephard in an ‘honest and open’ chat where he broke his silence on his marriage struggles with Coleen and his binge drinking past.
The 36-year-old has appeared on the breakfast TV program ahead of his new documentary titled ‘Rooney’, which launches on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, February 11.
The documentary shows a rare insight into the Derby County manager’s life, from his footballing years with Manchester United to the infidelity scandals that have shook his and wife Coleen’s 14-year-marriage.
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Wayne and Coleen, 35, married in 2008 but have been together since Coleen was 16.
Stories emerged in 2004 saying Wayne, who played for Everton at the time, had visited a brothel multiple times with pals on drunken nights out.
Then, after he married Coleen, further stories emerged in 2010 about a threesome with escorts Jenny Thompson and Helen Wood which happened the previous year.
Opening up for the first time on Good Morning Britain, Wayne said: “The support obviously I’ve had from Coleen has been immense throughout the years and there’s times where you think, do I deserve that support?”
“The difficult part of it is that everyone else judging not me, of course and that brings a lot of pressure, but judging Coleen for the decisions she makes – does she stay with me, does she leave me?
“I know that it was difficult for her and that’s not nice from me for putting her in those positions.
“But as I said, I’ve made mistakes, I think a lot of people make mistakes. It’s how you learn from them and recover, and that’s what shapes you into a better person.”
Coleen Rooney explained in a first-look at the documentary: “I knew that groups that Wayne was hanging round with weren’t good for him, lovely people but together with alcohol not good.
“It’s not a good thing for Wayne to be unsupervised.
She continued: “I’ve moved on, you’ve moved on. No – not the behavior – no, it’s not acceptable.
“Forgiveness is different, I’d say it’s different. I forgive him. But it wasn’t acceptable. If it comes up we’ll talk about it, like we’re talking about it now. I haven’t got the anger that I got at the time.”
Speaking about his early career in football, Wayne revealed his binge drinking habits started young.
“When I was younger there were moments where you were drinking constantly,” he admitted.
“We’ve got two days off, and I’d go home and drink for two days straight, just on my own.
“That might be on a Sunday and Monday, then on a Tuesday I was waking up on the rough putting eye drops in, chewing gum, mouthwash, going into training and trying to dust yourself down to get ready to train and go and play. That happened for a long period of time.”
He explained: “Of course I felt like I was ready from a football point of view, but from a press intrusion point of view – following you everywhere you went, every move you make. To try and deal with that was very tough and I wasn’t ready.
“From that comes a lot of pressure and a lot of wrong decisions you make because of that, and ultimately I’ve paid the price.
“When you go home at night and everything is bubbling up inside and I know I could feel it coming, but I wouldn’t say anything, you just let it build and then there would be an explosion.”
Wayne also revealed how he has wooed Coleen with poetry in the past: “I like writing poems and when we’d go to bed, I’d leave one on the breakfast table for her for when she wakes up.”
He moved on to talk about how managerial success now means more to him than as a player, but nothing means more to him than watching his children play the game.
Speaking of his eldest son, Kai, 12, he revealed: “Kai, he tells me which players we should sign, which players I should start. He said to me, ‘I love driving home with you because I love listening to the conversations, so when I’m older and I’m a manager, I’m getting a head start.”
Reflecting on Wayne’s own early football career as a kid, there is a heartwarming scene in the documentary of him winning an award at only eight years old, the manager said: “Now if I made a speech about the players’ player I’d be here all night, because this kid is unbelievable.
“Since he’s been with us Everton have signed him on, and he’ll probably be the next England player. Mr Wayne Rooney.”
Coleen and Wayne are the proud parents of Kai, 12, Klay, eight, Kit, six, and Cass, who turns four next week.
In the documentary Coleen says she stood by the Derby County manager to keep the family unit together and because they ‘still love each other.’
“When you’re making them decisions, you’ve got to focus on what you want and not what else, because you have so many people saying different things to you.
“Oh ‘Why is she getting back with him? She should’ve got rid of him ages ago.’
“Obviously I listen to the people that matter to me, my mum and dad, they’ve always given me a positive outlook on things.
“There’s nothing that we can’t deal with, and that’s my way. We’re in a situation, let’s sit down, let’s see what we can do, and can you make it work? And we have.”
She explained: “We’re not the lovey-dovey type anyway, we like to have a laugh together and we work well together, and we’ve got four kids.
“I know people say ‘were they just staying together to keep the family unit together?’
“That was part of it, but also we still love each other.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.