The British tabloid, The Sun, has criticized the captain of England’s soccer team for his drinking, citing his “Irish-origin family” by way of an explanation for his behavior. Thirty-one-year-old Wayne Rooney was said to have had one too many after his team beat Scotland, and he apparently ended up gatecrashing a wedding at the hotel the team was staying in. One football agent anonymously told The Sun, “Wayne’s always liked a drink. That’s the culture and type of Irish-origin family he comes from… The worry is because of how big a part football is in his life when it goes there’s a big hole there and he replaces it with drink.”
Rooney hails from a heavily Irish and Catholic part of the northern English city of Liverpool and his paternal grandparents were born in the Emerald Isle, making him, in theory, eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland’s squad. Even though the team tried to recruit him when he was a teenager, Rooney insisted before a match between the two teams last year that, "I am English through and through and I have no issue with trying to beat Ireland."
The Sun also reported that, “He couldn’t string a sentence together and was falling over like the ‘comedy drunk’ – no-one could believe this was the England captain.” Another newspaper, The Express, described his behavior as, “reprehensible and worthy of the highest censure.”
EXCLUSIVE: Wayne Rooney nearly knocked out after 'getting handy' with fan's wife https://t.co/jsY6YkVkjP pic.twitter.com/EAJx9YfqkM— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) November 20, 2016
But in a statement issued on Rooney’s behalf his press team pushed back, insisting, “Wayne, along with the rest of the England squad, was on a night off duty."
“Rather than going out, he chose to stay at the team hotel to relax and celebrate a fine England victory against Scotland.
"During the course of the evening he was approached by numerous fellow guests for autographs and pictures. As he has always been, Wayne was happy to sign, pose for photos and chat with guests.
"It is sad that one or two of them have now sought to turn Wayne's friendly good nature to their advantage."
At 31 Rooney is approaching the end of his career playing soccer professionally. Earlier this year he signaled it would be his last playing internationally for England but also his intention to stay on playing for his club, Manchester United, until at least the end of his contract with them in 2019. After that he hopes to make a living coaching the sport professionally.