Sam Wallace: Who said this father-to-be can't grow up?
Friday 02 October 2009
If Wayne Rooney was in any doubt as to whether he should choose the birth of his child over playing for Manchester United against CSKA in Moscow later this month then he should heed the advice of his fellow Scouser, and former England team-mate, Jamie Carragher.
In his autobiography, the Liverpool defender recounts in detail how he came to realise he had made one of the biggest mistakes of his life by deciding to travel to Switzerland to play against Basle in 2002 rather than attend the birth of his first child.
The day began with Carragher ignoring the advice of his team-mate Danny Murphy, who told him at the airport to go home. It ended with Carragher returning after the game and guiltily holding his son, James, for the first time. "I still owe Nicola [his wife] a massive apology," he wrote later. "I badly let her down. My obsession with football affected my judgement."
The criticism most often levelled at Rooney is he lacks maturity. It would therefore be completely unjustified for him to be criticised for the grown-up decision to support his wife and child at such an important moment.
That Rooney should instinctively see it as his duty to be an attentive husband should be celebrated. United might pay Rooney a lot of money but that does not entitle them to claim his services at the times in his life when any other person would be permitted to be with their family.
The school of thought that men should be men and leave the kids to their wives might have been acceptable in the days when footballers smoked pipes and caught the bus to matches but times have changed. The notion that it is somehow less manly to choose attending the birth of a child over playing football is farcical. Just ask a tough-nut like Carragher.
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Mike Tyson branded 'superhero' after a surprise good turn
Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser
Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study
Want to ward off (or welcome) trick-or-treaters? Here's how
Latest in Sport
Manchester City vs Manchester United combined XI: No place for Yaya Toure... or any United defenders
Sami Khedira transfer news: Arsenal can win the Premier League if they sign Khedira in January, says Perry Groves
Paul Scholes: At last! Some credit for Sam Allardyce
EXCLUSIVE: F1 heading for eastern revolution as new team emerges from Romania
Impressive Kurt Zouma may save Chelsea millions by replacing John Terry
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
- 5 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything