The newspapers had falsely reported the striker slapped his fiancee Coleen McLoughlin during a row at a nightclub in Cheshire in April last year. Rooney strenuously denied the story and will donate the damages to charity. At the High Court the newspapers’ publishers, News Group Newspapers Ltd, accepted the allegations were false. Rooney and Ms McLoughlin were not present at Tuesday’s hearing in front of Mr Justice Eady.
The 20-year-old player’s solicitors, Schillings, said he intended to donate the damages to charity. The damages reflected “the gravity of the libels“, they added.
A statement from the two newspapers said: “With only 58 days to the start of The World Cup, The Sun and The News of The World are pleased to have reached a settlement with Wayne Rooney. We can now put this case behind us and focus on a great tournament. We wish him and the England team every success in Germany and look forward to welcoming them back with the World Cup trophy.”
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says the pressure being piled on Wayne Rooney ahead of this summer’s World Cup is beginning to tell. Sunderland dealt United’s title hopes a blow on Friday, with Rooney putting in a poor display in a goalless draw.
Ferguson said: “All the responsibility being placed on Wayne winning the World Cup for England has borne fruit. He is still a kid. It’s the biggest load of nonsense I’ve ever heard. He still has a lot to learn.”
The 20-year-old Rooney has scored 14 Premiership goals this season and will be integral to England’s plans in Germany. However, Ferguson said Rooney and his United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, 21, are far from finished articles:
“Wayne and Cristiano will be great players, I would stake my life on it. They have potential and we will wait two or three years for them to fulfil it. But people should remember they are only young. You have to expect inconsistency and against Sunderland they produced probably their worst performances of the season.”
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