News of the forward’s goal and subsequent landmark came via the club’s official Twitter account:
90+4' – GOOOAL! Stoke 1 United 1.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 21, 2017
The England international bagged his goal deep in injury time, curling home a beautiful free-kick to earn his side a draw at Stoke City.
Here’s a look at the revised top scorers in United’s history, a standing that Rooney now tops:
Rooney is also the club’s top goalscorer in European matches; he netted for the 39th time in continental competition for the Red Devils against Feyenoord in November, passing Ruud van Nistelrooy’s haul of 38.
While the campaign hasn’t been Rooney’s best in a Red Devils shirt—he was dropped by manager Jose Mourinho earlier in the season—reaching this milestone is a testament to the high standards he’s long set as a United player.
Indeed, since he joined the club in 2004 from Everton, Rooney has showcased a remarkable amount of consistency.
That’s reflected not only in the haul of goals he has amassed, but the silverware he’s won, too. While the highlight of the England captain’s United career will be the UEFA Champions League win in 2008, he’s also lifted five Premier League titles and one FA Cup with the club.
Naturally, there have been ups and downs during his stay at the club, but the veteran has largely been a model professional. Sometimes, his application and attitude has been to his own detriment. Former manager Sir Alex Ferguson would often use Rooney in wide positions in key contests because of his willingness to follow tactical instructions.
But passing Charlton’s record secures Rooney’s place in United’s history, while also confirming his status as one of the finest players of his generation.
After all, in addition to becoming United’s top scorer, the former Toffees star is also the most prolific England player of all time on the international stage. To be perched at the summit of both of these lists is an incredible achievement given the history of both teams.
While we’ve almost certainly seen the best of Rooney as a footballer, this accomplishment deserves great praise.