Derby County FC

Derby appoint Wayne Rooney as permanent manager - ending his playing career

Jamie Spencer
Jan 15, 2021, 2:00 PM GMT
Wayne Rooney has officially moved into full-time management
Wayne Rooney has officially moved into full-time management | Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Derby County have appointed Wayne Rooney as manager on a permanent basis following a positive run of results since he took over as interim boss in November. His move into full-time management also brings an end to a glittering playing career that began in 2002.

Rooney, who initially joined the Rams as a player-coach in January 2020, has been handed a two-and-a-half year contract until the end of the 2022/23 season.

His immediate task will be to steer Derby away from the Championship relegation zone, having already seen an upturn in results since he took temporary charge.

Rooney, now 35, was appointed head of the interim coaching team when Philipp Cocu was sacked and has since seen Derby win three, draw four and lose only twice. The Rams have trebled their points tally since Rooney took solo charge and briefly moved out of the relegation zone.

Rooney has not played a game himself since his caretaker appointment and has indeed now played his last game of professional football.

Steve McClaren will continue his role as technical director, while coaches Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker will also stay on. Rosenior will be assistant manager.

Rooney played 30 Championship games for Derby
Rooney played 30 Championship games for Derby | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

“When I first arrived back in the United Kingdom I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club. The stadium, training ground, the quality of the playing staff and the young players coming through and of course the fan base that has remained loyal and supportive,” a grateful Rooney told

“Despite other offers I knew instinctively Derby County was the place for me,” he added.

“To be given the opportunity to follow the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu is such an honour and I can promise everyone in involved in the club and all our fans, my staff and I will leave no stone unturned in achieving the potential I have witnessed over the last 12 months of this historic football club.”

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