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England Team at Auschwitz

January 14, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz, Sport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wayne Rooney on Auschwitz.


Rooney was incredibly moved by Auschwitz visit, reveals Hodgson

The England striker is far more caring than his reputation suggests – with a bookish interest in World War II

Wayne Rooney is a sensitive, bookish young man – according to England manager Roy Hodgson.

But the Manchester United superstar, prefers to keep that side of his personality hidden from the public.

Since taking over as Three Lions boss Hodgson, himself a cultured, well-read figure, has been amazed that Rooney’s past image as an ­unintelligent hot-head was so far off the mark.

This struck the coach earlier in the year when he and some ­members of the national team visited Auschwitz, the site of the biggest mass murder ever carried out, before playing in the 2012 European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine.

“Wayne was incredibly moved by the experience,” recalled Hodgson. “At one point Joe Hart put his hand on his shoulder and asked him if he was alright.

“I wasn’t surprised because since getting to know Wayne I know how different he is to the public ­perception.

“Many football players have a reputation that is far different to the reputation they deserve. He is one of them.

“My concern was that he was going to be too moved. That the ­experience would give him – and others – nightmares and they wouldn’t be strong enough to take it. Luckily that wasn’t the case.”

Rooney, now 27, has in the past seen off-field indiscretions with prostitutes, and occasional explosions on the pitch ­reinforce the perception that he is out of control.

Last week he raised ­eyebrows after his latest round of male grooming – part of the price Hodgson believes he has to pay for his celebrity status.

Yet last month he tweeted his interest in the American presidential elections. He claimed he was ­watching the pre-election debate involving Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Hodgson believes that Rooney would like to have more time to pursue his cultural interests – particularly his love of modern ­history. The England boss said: “When Wayne’s wife came over to join us in Poland I think he would have liked to have gone back to Auschwitz with her again.

“But he and she have such a high profile it couldn’t be risked without the level of security we had around us, unfortunately.

“He’s quite well read on the ­subject. Most of his generation, ­unlike mine, aren’t as aware as we are. But Wayne is very interested in all apsects of the ­Second World War.

“He has a ­particular interest, he has all the World at War television series.

“He reads a lot about the ­period and is very knowledgeable on that, and other subjects.

“This is a side of him the public aren’t allowed to see. It’s important that high-profile people like ­football players highlight these issues.

“Wayne didn’t need to be taken there dragging and screaming. He wanted to go out of interest.

“We were invited by the Holocaust Educational Trust, but we would have gone anyway out of our own interest – and out of respect.

“Rooney is one of those players who decides games. He is ­extremely high profile, a great player, a player who decides games.

“Yet he would be the first to admit that he has unfinished business for England at a major championship.”

After visiting Auschwitz, Rooney said: “It’s hard to understand.

“I am a parent and it’s tough to see what happened there.

“You’ve seen the amount of ­children who died. You see the children’s clothes and shoes. It’s really sad.

“You have to see it first hand.

“You don’t realise how those who lived there to work managed without food, without water.

“It’s a form of torture and then they died. The ­others got ­murdered.”

December 10, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment


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