In September, he became England's top goalscorer of all time, beating the legendary record of Sir Bobby Charlton by netting his 50th national goal.
On Sunday, Rooney's winner for Manchester United against bitter rival Liverpool made him the top goalscorer for one British Premier League club -- stealing the crown from Arsenal's Thierry Henry with a remarkable 176 goals.
It's not the first time Rooney has caught the headlines. Here Press Association sports photographer Martin Rickett recalls Rooney's jaw-dropping overhead kick in the Manchester derby that won the Premier League's best goal in its 20 Seasons Awards.
It is also one of the most celebrated shots in Rickett's career -- scooping him a coveted industry award.
Where? Old Trafford, Manchester United vs. Manchester City, on February 12 2011.
What? The game was tied at 1-1. The atmosphere in Manchester derbies is always tense. United had lost the coin toss and had been forced to attack the East Stand in the second half, rather than their preferred Stretford End.
As the ball loops over from a cross on the right, Rooney finds some space between two City defenders, who are frantically trying to make up ground in an attempt to defend. Rooney leaps into the air and when he's almost horizontal and the ball is directly above his head, his boot makes perfect contact with the ball -- sending it flying into the back of Joe Hart's goal.
How? I could see Rooney in the box setting himself up for something spectacular. The whole sequence seemed to happen in slow motion. I started to shoot as I knew that if it went in, it was going to be special. The crowd went wild as did Rooney, celebrating in the corner with his back to the away fans, taking in the applause from the home fans.
Why? I've been lucky enough to see some great goals over the years, and this is definitely up there with the best. It shows the true athleticism of footballers and the timing involved to meet the ball at the perfect moment. A lot of players would have tried to head the ball from that position, but Rooney went for the spectacular and it paid off.
Many years ago, an experienced sports photographer told me, "Goals win games, not celebrations." It's something I always think about. I'd always rather have a nice goal picture and I take a position near the goal to give myself the best chance of doing that.
To win the Barclays Sports Photographer of the Year award was a great honor for me -- it had been dominated by newspaper photographers. To be the first from a sports agency to win the competition was amazing.
: I'm lucky enough to be involved in the biggest and best sport in the world -- it's given me some great experiences.
Following the game through a lens means you only get to see a small part of the action, but it's usually the best bits. I've covered games from Accrington Stanley on a cold January night to the World Cup final in Berlin, and the fans are equally as passionate at both. They can be eccentric, colorful, loud -- and without the fans it loses its spark and atmosphere.
My first football memory is of watching England v Spain in the 1982 World Cup in Spain. England needed to win to have any chance of getting to the semifinals, but the game ended 0-0. Being only seven at the time, I was packed off to bed with 30 minutes left to play -- there started my heartache of watching England.
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