May 19, 2024

Wayne Rooney was set to make his Match of the Day punditry debut on Saturday night.
Wayne Rooney, a former Everton striker, was forced to withdraw from his Match of the Day debut on Saturday due to an injury sustained on holiday.

The 38-year-old was scheduled to appear alongside presenter Gary Lineker, but the panel instead included Martin Keown and Micah Richards when he was forced to skip his debut in the role.

He tweeted: “I’m disappointed not to be making my debut on the renowned @BBCMOTD show tonight; it’s something I’ve wanted to accomplish since I was a child.

“Unfortunately, I sustained a painful back injury while on vacation with my family, but I hope to join the team soon. Good luck to @GaryLineker and the gentlemen on tonight’s show, and see you soon.”

Rooney transitioned into punditry after being fired as Birmingham City manager, appearing on BBC’s FA Cup coverage and Premier League Productions’ analysis of games in recent weeks. The former attacker left St Andrews after nine defeats in 15 games.

After retiring from professional football, the former Everton and Manchester United attacker moved into management at Derby County, where he battled off-field issues that contributed to their relegation, and DC United before returning to the Championship for an ill-fated spell at Birmingham.



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Following his resignation, talk arose about Rooney’s transition to boxing, with claims of discussions with influential boxing group Misfits, but the 38-year-old reiterated that his goal is to return to management.

“You never know,” he stated during the Overlap. “They’ve contacted me and asked about it, but I think I’d rather focus on getting back into management than boxing right now.

“There have been a few, definitely. Misfits have existed, and this has been widely reported. I want to focus on getting back into management.

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