Barry puts Rooney through his paces

PUBLISHED: 12:28 16 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:28 14 September 2010

Wayne Rooney can win England the World Cup - so says the 64-year-old Norfolk striker who put the Manchester United hitman through his paces before heading out to Germany.

Wayne Rooney can win England the World Cup - so says the 64-year-old Norfolk striker who put the Manchester United hitman through his paces before heading out to Germany.

EDP employee Barry Durrant lived the dream when he spent a day at United's Carrington training complex filming a short Nike documentary to be shown on Sky Sports today.

The Norfolk & Suffolk Veterans Division Four sharpshooter was propelled into the big time through his love for the game.

“I nearly fell off my chair when they told me I was training with Wayne Rooney,” he admitted.

“Nike contacted the league and I met them for a couple of interviews. They wanted someone with a 100pc passion for football and when I told them about my years playing and managing for various clubs at a local level they decided I was the right sort of person.

“It was for a series called 'In Search of the Beautiful Game'. They had the likes of Rio Ferdinand meeting the Rochdale groundsman and Joe Cole spending time with a tea lady in other episodes.”

Durrant filmed initial scenes at his North Burlingham home and Anglian Combination outfit Blofield before being whisked north for his date with arguably the world's finest young talent.

“I just thought 'this can't be happening to a little Norfolk lad like me',” he said. “I met Wayne in the changing rooms and we just started talking - I wasn't a bit nervous. He's such a fantastic lad and so natural. It was before his injury but he told me he was really looking forward to the World Cup.

“I asked him all sorts about working with Sir Alex Ferguson and how he handled being in the spotlight. With someone like that you think he couldn't go out do things we take for granted - like shopping - but he told me he'd stopped at a garage for a pint of milk the previous week and no one had recognised him.”

The unorthodox strike duo moved on to Old Trafford for further filming before Durrant's fairytale finally came to an end.

“I had to sign a confidentiality contract so only my wife and one or two of the people I work with knew,” he said.

“My grandson (Ryan) is just 12 and he was distraught but I had to keep it from him. Now he's got a signed shirt above his bedroom wall.”

Speaking prior to England's second group game against Trinidad and Tobago last night Durrant offered his well-qualified opinion on Rooney's metatarsal injury saga.

“In our day they used to call it a broken foot,” he said. “I certainly wouldn't try to rush him back. The fact he has been able to train must have helped because I think he's the sort of lad who just wants to be playing.

“David Nugent at Preston came back after five weeks so it is possible.

“People might think I'm biased now because I got the chance to meet the lad but Wayne Rooney is one of the best players in the world. With him in the side England can go all the way.”

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