Wayne Rooney scores winner, breaks unique Premier League record in return to Everton

Wayne Rooney went more than 13 years in between appearances for Everton Football Club. And on his Premier League return to his boyhood team on Saturday, Rooney completed a storybook homecoming.

Four thousand, eight hundred and sixty nine days after he last scored for the club — his club — Rooney headed home the lone goal in a 1-0 opening day Everton victory over Stoke.

The 4,869 days in between goals for the same club were the most ever for a single player in the history of the Premier League. Rooney’s last tally in Everton blue came in April of 2004, the Toffees’ only one in a 1-1 draw at Leeds.

The side-by-side pictures of Rooney’s celebration on that day and his celebration on Saturday are excellent:

Rooney’s goal on Saturday was assisted by a cross from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who was 7 years old the last time Rooney scored for Everton.

In between goals, Rooney had an illustrious 13-season career with Manchester United. He scored 183 goals for United, the most in Premier League history for a single club, and won 12 trophies, including five Premier League titles.

But now 31 and with his career on the downswing, Rooney left United on a free and re-signed with Everton.

Rooney started for Everton up top alongside Sandro Ramirez, and simply by taking the field, he also set a Premier League record for longest period in between appearances for the same club. It had been 4,837 days since Rooney last played for the Toffees in May 2014.

“To play for this football club again is a huge deal for me,” Rooney said after the game. “To score in the first game in the Premier League back at Goodison, and the winning goal, it doesn’t get much better.”

Everton’s Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring his side’s first goal against Stoke City during the English Premier League soccer match at Goodison Park, Liverpool, England, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (Anthony Devlin/PA via AP)