Wayne Rooney Reflects on Legal Dispute with Former Manager David Moyes

Wayne Rooney Reflects on Legal Dispute with Former Manager David Moyes

Wayne Rooney has recently shed light on his past legal confrontation with his former manager, David Moyes, more than 16 years after Moyes initiated legal action against him.

Moyes, who gave Rooney his debut at Everton in 2002, was instrumental in the early stages of Rooney’s career.

Just two years later, Rooney made a high-profile move to Manchester United for a then-record fee of £30 million, catching the attention of the football world.

The Legal Dispute

The relationship between Rooney and Moyes became strained in 2008 when Moyes sued Rooney over claims made in Rooney’s autobiography, “My Story So Far.” This marked an unprecedented moment in football history, as it was the first time a manager accused a player of libel.

Rooney expressed regret over the incident, acknowledging the impact it had on their relationship.

In an interview with Gary Neville on “The Overlap,” sponsored by Sky Bet, Rooney reflected on his actions, stating, “David Moyes was really good for me at Everton. He sued me after I left the club – I hammered him when I left because of how I felt at the time.”

Apology and Understanding

As Rooney matured, he came to understand Moyes’ perspective and motivations. He reached out to Moyes to apologize, realizing that Moyes, a young manager at the time, was navigating the complexities of handling a star player.


“I spoke to him a few years after I left, I called him up and apologized, because the older you get, you realize why he was doing things,” Rooney shared.

“He was a young manager at the time, it was new to him. When I look back, he was good for me, he was constantly on me. He was trying to not let me think that I was better than I was.”

Moyes’ Perspective

David Moyes brought his case against Rooney and his publishers, Harper Collins, over accusations that Moyes had leaked details of a private conversation regarding Rooney’s intentions to leave Everton.

Moyes also took legal action against the Daily Mail, which had published excerpts from the memoir. Eventually, Rooney and his publishers retracted the accusation and apologized to Moyes.

Harper Collins agreed to pay “substantial damages” to Moyes. In his statement following the ruling, Moyes expressed satisfaction with the outcome, saying, “I was disappointed and wanted people to know that what had been written was completely untrue. I felt that I had no choice but to take action for a full apology and damages.”

Moving Forward

Moyes emphasized that he did not seek financial gain from the damages awarded, choosing instead to donate the money to the Everton Former Players Foundation.

He added, “All of the above said, we have now moved on and I wish Wayne and his family all the best for the future both on the field and off it.”


Rooney confirmed that he had repaired his relationship with Moyes following the formal apology.

This reconciliation was evident when Rooney played under Moyes again during his brief tenure as Manchester United’s manager in the 2013-14 season.

Reflection and Growth

Rooney’s reflection on his past with Moyes highlights the growth and maturity he has gained over the years.

By acknowledging his mistakes and making amends, Rooney demonstrated a level of respect and understanding that often comes with experience.

His ability to look back and appreciate Moyes’ efforts to guide him during his formative years at Everton underscores the complexity of their relationship.

Despite the legal clash, both Rooney and Moyes have moved forward, showing that reconciliation is possible even after significant conflicts.

This story serves as a reminder of the personal and professional challenges faced by athletes and managers alike.


It also illustrates the importance of communication, understanding, and forgiveness in maintaining and repairing relationships.

As Rooney and Moyes continue their respective careers, their shared history remains a testament to the dynamic and often unpredictable nature of the football world.