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Published: Monday July 17, 2006 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday July 5, 2013 MYT 7:23:18 PM

‘Potato Face’ can’t sleep without vacuum cleaner on

LONDON: For some it’s a tot of whisky, for others it’s a milky drink, but Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney can’t get off to sleep without the whir of a vacuum cleaner or his girlfriend’s hairdryer. 

“When I’m on my own, I still not only like to have the TV and light on to help me sleep – but also a vacuum cleaner,” the England forward admits in his autobiography “My Story So Far”, serialised in the Mail on Sunday newspaper. 

“Failing that a fan or a hairdryer will do. I’ve ruined so many hairdryers by letting them burn out. Coleen (McLoughlin, his girlfriend) hates it. 

“She won’t let me turn on a vacuum cleaner or a fan, not when we’re together,” he adds, recalling that the unusual habit began when he was a child. 

Extracts of the 20-year-old forward’s new book also see Rooney – sent off in England’s World Cup quarter final match against Portugal last month – play down his reputation as a hot-headed hard man. 

“People look at you, and at how I happen to look especially when I’m out there on the pitch, and they imagine they know your character,” he writes. “But they don’t. In real life I think I’m a quiet, sensitive, retiring shy person.” 

On the pitch, he gives a behind-the-scenes account of his encounter during the quarter-final with his Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who was widely blamed for getting Rooney sent off. 

But Rooney – who revealed he doesn’t mind being called “Potato Face” or “Shrek”, after the cartoon character – said he sent Ronaldo a text message after the match saying he did not blame him and wished Portugal luck. 

“I told him to forget about what happened. I wasn’t blaming him for interfering,” he added. 

Rooney also speaks candidly of his infamous visits to a massage parlour in Liverpool as a 16-year-old, describing it as “shameful” and the “biggest single regret of my life”. 

“I can never sufficiently make it up to Coleen – but I have tried and I am trying,” he said of the visits, which were documented in British tabloid newspapers. 

On fashion, Rooney says he is not like teammates such as David Beckham who follow the latest trends, instead describing himself as “a scruff” who is ribbed for turning up for training in slippers. 

“I have two pairs – one from Marks and Spencer and the other just a cheap pair with an England flag on the front bought from the market,” he revealed. – AFP 

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