Hats off to star

Footballer Wayne Rooney paid a visit to his Croxteth primary school ahead of being presented with his 100th England cap.

The England captain surprised excited pupils at Our Lady and St Swithin’s Catholic Primary School – and gave each one an England shirt.

Teachers said he spent four hours at the school talking with youngsters, signing their shirts and Match Attax cards and listening to their hopes for the future.

Headteacher Sandra Hamilton said: “He was so easy to talk to and he wanted to spend as much time as possible with the kids. He said he loved the fact that the children looked so happy.”

“He has got every value that we value and he gives the kids belief.”

Sandra said the footballer’s visit was kept a secret from pupils – but they were given a hint about who their mystery guest might be.

She said: “He has sent us things like footballs, pictures and shirts but this is the first time he’s been in the building since he left.

“He arrived, said hello to me and I felt like he took a little bit of a deep breath! He went into the hall and everybody just gave him a huge round of applause.

“It was emotional when he walked into the hall. He sat in the middle of them and it was like he’d never been away – he still looks like a schoolboy in his cap!”

Sandra Hamilton said the children – many of them aspiring footballers – wanted to talk to their idol about scoring goals and playing for England.

She said: “One little lad said to him “I play for Wigan so you’ll come back and ask me to sign your shirt!” and because he’s a lovely guy he said “I hope so”.

“He was very keen to talk to them and he didn’t dampen the children’s ambitions or dreams.

“A lot of the kids are signed to different football clubs and if they tell me they want to be England captain I say “you can say that at this school!”.

“We’re really proud of Wayne. We think the world of him and we wish him well for the future.”

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