The Wayne Rooney Foundation is not set to receive any of the gate receipts from England’s upcoming Wembley friendly against the United States – but will be supported by the Football Association in other ways, Press Association Sport understands.
Former captain Rooney will pick up a 120th senior cap in a one-off appearance on November 15 as England supporters are given the chance to give the country’s all-time leading goalscorer a proper send-off.
The 33-year-old, who now plays for DC United in Major League Soccer, has not represented the Three Lions in almost two years.
He will, however, play some part in the upcoming friendly against the United States in a match which will be known officially as the Wayne Rooney Foundation International.
Despite the match being named in honour of the former Manchester United forward’s charity, the gate receipts will not form part of the donations.
Instead it is believed the FA – a not for profit organisation – will support the foundation through fan collections, silent auctions in hospitality suites and by promoting awareness of the causes Rooney’s charity is raising funds for.
Press Association Sport understands conversations as to the final arrangements are still ongoing but that the approach will sit similar to other charitable friendly matches, such as the Breast Cancer Care International against Holland in 2016.
Supporters will be given the option to add a donation to the Wayne Rooney Foundation when they purchase tickets for the match, while there will be text-to-donate details inside the stadium during the 90 minutes.
Rooney will be included in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the United States match but will not be considered for the Nations League meeting with Croatia three days later.
The decision to award Rooney such an honour has been met with differing responses from former England internationals.
Goalkeeper Peter Shilton, who with 125 caps is the only player to have represented England more times than Rooney, and ex-captain Alan Shearer both agreed that Rooney’s achievements deserve honouring – but that should not extend to him playing in the match.
But World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst supports the decision and believes it could benefit Southgate’s up -and-coming youngsters.
“Wayne Rooney has been the best England player of his generation, and his contribution deserves to be recognised,” Hurst told Grosvenor Sport.
“I’m glad that we’ll see him in an England shirt one last time. We’re talking about the record England cap-holder for an outfield player, the national side’s record goal scorer and someone who has been a fantastic servant for club and country throughout his career.
“On top of that, there’s also a lot of money set to be raised for charity, which will be fantastic to see. It’s important for football players to support charities whenever they can, and Wayne is certainly someone who has done that.
“If we’re also talking about helping young players develop in the international set-up, then surely celebrating Wayne’s career in this way is an example to the next generation of England stars.
“It shows them how they can be thought of if they follow Wayne’s example and are as successful as him for England.”