In his second season with DC, Rooney scored from beyond the halfway line for the third time in his career, having already done so with Manchester United and Everton, against West Ham United on both occasions. This time it was against Orlando, another wonderful moment of skill and vision.

After 18 months in the USA, Rooney returned to England to take up a player-coach role with Derby County in January 2020. Made captain immediately, he registered an assist on his debut against Barnsley and scored six goals in his 24 appearances as the Rams finished 10th.

A woeful start to the season saw manager Phillip Cocu leave by mutual consent a few games into the 2020/21 campaign and Rooney was part of a four-man interim team to take over, his three colleagues being Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker. Rooney was announced as the sole manager on 26 November and after taking the club from bottom-of-the-table and six points from safety to 18th and eight points clear of the relegation zone, he was given the permanent job on 15 January 2021, at which point he announced his retirement as a player.

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