An emotional Wayne Rooney became England’s all-time leading goal-scorer after netting his 50th international goal in a historic 2-0 victory over Switzerland at Wembley in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Tuesday.
With England having already qualified for next year’s tournament, the stage was set for their captain to surpass Bobby Charlton’s 45-year-old mark of 49, which he had equalled in Saturday’s 6-0 win in San Marino.
After substitute Harry Kane broke the deadlock, the moment duly arrived in the 84th minute, Rooney crashing a penalty into Yann Sommer’s top-right corner and being rewarded with a standing ovation that left him wiping away tears.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Rooney, 29. “I’ve been close for the last few games and it’s a dream come true. I was bit emotional. It’s a huge honour and one I am extremely proud of.
“I knew it was a big moment and just picked my corner and put my foot through it. To be the record scorer before the age of 30 is nothing I could have imagined.”
Charlton, whose Manchester United record of 249 goals is also being eroded by Rooney, was quick to offer congratulations.
“I would like to congratulate Wayne on becoming England’s leading goal-scorer,” the 77-year-old, emblem of England’s 1966 World Cup win, said in a statement.
“I obviously cannot deny that I am disappointed that I now don’t hold this record, however, I am absolutely delighted that it is Wayne, as captain of my beloved club and country, who now holds this record.