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Wayne Rooney pays visit to his Catholic school

England captain Wayne Rooney in a match against Estonia last month (PA)

England captain Wayne Rooney returned to his Catholic primary school this week ahead of his 100th England cap on Saturday.

Rooney was greeted by 99 pupils at Our Lady and St Swithin’s Catholic Primary School in Liverpool, all wearing England tops to mark his becoming only the ninth player to reach a century. The Manchester United player grew up near the school in the Croxteth area of the city, playing in the school’s small yard, which he said “felt as big as three pitches”.  

Headteacher Sandra Hamilton said: “Wayne gives the children self-belief… We look at him as a wonderful family man and are extremely proud of everything that he does.”

In an interview in 2012, Rooney said he prayed before matches. “I don’t pray to help me score goals. I pray for the health of me and everyone on the pitch,” he said.