Sport on TV: Rooney's urchins look to leave their mark on road to riches

Was it a disclaimer for 'Wayne Rooney's Street Striker' (Sky One, Sunday) or Manchester United's Champions' League tie against Aalborg? It was hard to tell. "The challenges in this programme took place in a strictly controlled environment managed by the competition's organisers," it said. The Aalborg goalie might beg to differ. "Do not attempt to copy them." Not unless you're throwing a few shapes while dancing on top of a drunk at the Christmas party. Not if you don't want to get sent off.

Rooney is looking for the best street footballer in the country, and the winner of tonight's final will be sent to an international training camp in Brazil. Rooney says the street taught him skill and speed. It seems he also learnt how to "look after himself" on the estates of Croxteth.

It is ironic that Travis, one of the few contestants who plays for a proper team, should say: "Being on the streets is not a good thing, a lot of people are getting murdered." For these 24 lads, football represents a way out of degradation and depravity, off the very streets where they can actually stand out from the crowd.

The second trial was held on a street of classic 'Coronation Street' terraced houses in Salford, but appropriately all the windows were boarded up with signs saying "All materials of value have been removed", and the roofs of abandoned cars acted as springboards for the young player's vaunting ambitions as they stood atop them trying to hit the ball into a moving dustcart.

Rooney dreaded dashing their hopes and was shy in front of the camera in a way that he never could be on the pitch. Super-confident Kabir probably summed up the spirit of the street best. "Having good skill means you can play elegantly, you can just express yourself. You become more confident and you feel you have more responsibility to play well. When you watch Rooney, that's what he does." He probably said it better than Wazza could ever have done. Kabir didn't get through to the last half a dozen, but he would make a great pundit.

Rooney's own experience was: "We used to play across the main road. There was a sign off the road on the other side and we'd have five goes each and see how many times we could hit it." It's lucky that everyone's car was up on bricks at the time or someone might have got hurt. But it seems that Rooney might have picked up a bit of road rage in the process.

* The first Test in Chennai has been notable for all sorts of reasons, the least obvious of which is that the fans are allowed to vote for their favourite commentator of the day. It came as a surprise that Laxman Sivaramakrishnan should be polling so many votes, since he verges on the unlistenable. It's even more shocking when you think the votes are cast by text.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

£13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent