24/10/2012 08:59 BST

Wayne Rooney Celebrates 27th Birthday, Here's His Everton Years In Pictures

'Once a blue, always a blue.' It's not quite the motto Wayne Rooney promised as he swapped Everton for the red of Manchester United in 2004, but his two seasons in the Toffees' first team include the prodigious ingenuity he possessed at its rawness.

He scored 17 goals in 77 appearances for his boyhood club as he terrorised defenders young and old between 2002 and 2004, when his performance at the European Championship compelled him to look across the north-west and to Manchester.

Although Rooney has won four Premier League titles, two League Cups, a Champions League and Club World Cup winners' medals, it is arguable he has rarely displayed the promise he oozed during his teenage years at Goodison Park.

Not reviled as viciously as he once was when he returned to Merseyside, if it's any consolation to Bluenoses Rooney's son Kai is being brought up a Blue too.

Wayne Rooney: The Everton Years