Wayne Rooney will live in Loudoun County, Virginia, Pablo Maurer reports for the Athletic. D.C. United’s new manager will be near the club’s training facility, which has a Leesburg address and is close to Ashburn as well. How does Loudoun stack up to the famous soccer player’s other domiciles?
Rooney grew up in this suburb of Liverpool, as did his wife, Coleen Rooney. It’s got a reputation as a rough area; taxi drivers reportedly don’t like to go there, for instance. Wayne proposed to Coleen at a gas station in Croxteth, her mother told the BBC:
“They were supposed to go for a meal somewhere but he couldn’t wait. So I think he must have got the engagement ring out at the petrol station.
“[They] never went out for the meal. They came home and had corned beef hash.”
This suburb of Manchester is part of Cheshire’s so-called Golden Triangle or “footballer belt,” where well-paid players for the city’s famous soccer teams tend to live. It’s known for its Italian restaurants, quaint markets, and mansions that can stay on the market for a long time after contracts end.
The site of the Rooney family’s current home, a tiny village near Manchester’s airport and close to a slightly larger village called Knutsford. It’s “surprisingly normal and quiet,” according to journalists who took a gander at a nearby Aldi, farm shop, and hedges. In early February, the Daily Mail noted that quiet may not last:
“One local resident at Knutsford, Cheshire, said: ‘It has been fairly [quiet] in the skies above their home because of the pandemic and lesser planes flying about.
‘But I think they are going to be at their wits end when the holiday season arrives and if things are back to normal. The planes are in swarms each hour usually.”
Coleen Rooney apparently did not take to life in the DC suburb, though their son Kai did well with the Bethesda Soccer Club (and is now in Manchester United’s youth academy). A quick survey of Washingtonian Slack shook loose several reasons to love Bethesda:
• Woodmont Grill’s spinach-artichoke dip
• Breads Unlimited, where maple doughnuts are good and you can still get a prune danish
• José Andrés lives there
• Bethesda Row, in particular the movie theater
• Easy proximity to a Ledo’s (this one split the staff, but Ledo pizza is always welcome in this employee’s house)
Rooney is loaded, and Loudoun’s the wealthiest county in the US. Sounds like a match! If Rooney chooses to live near Ashburn he’ll join a long line of Washington Commanders players who’ve pitched their tent near the team’s HQ. Leesburg boasts a variety of attractions and amenities, including Dulles International Airport, where Rooney once got arrested. The past, though, is in the past. Bonus: The British newspapers that track the Rooneys’ every move and sometimes referred to Bethesda as being located in “Washington, America,” will likely contribute many new spellings to the Loudoun canon.