Manchester United allow Wayne Rooney compassionate leave following death of wife's sister

Coleen Rooney's sister Rosie McLoughlin loses battle with Rett Syndrome

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The Independent Football

Wayne Rooney has been granted compassionate leave by Manchester United following the death of his wife's sister.

Rosie McLoughlin, the 14-year-old sister of the England striker's wife Coleen, died at the weekend following a battle with rare genetic condition Rett Syndrome.

Rooney is currently sidelined with a knee injury but will be allowed time off from his recovery process according to reports today.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson had been hoping Rooney could return in time for Manchester United's FA Cup replay against West Ham next Wednesday, however that is now likely to come too soon and the Premier League fixture against Tottenham a week on Sunday looks a more realistic possibility.

A statement issued on behalf of Coleen and Wayne Rooney, and the rest of Rosie's family, said they had been left "heartbroken" by the teenager's death.

"She was such a strong little girl and an inspiration to us all.

"We shall cherish forever the memories we have shared and the love she showed us each and every day of her life."

Coleen, 26, took to Twitter at the weekend to express her sorrow at Rosie's death, writing: "We are absolutely heartbroken to have lost our angel Rosie."

Support has also flooded in, including from former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler who tweeted: "Terrible news. Thoughts are with you and family, met Rosie once with your mum and dad, lovely and genuine family... Take care."