England’s all-time leading goalscorer, who has just rejoined the Blues from Manchester United, said Liverpool would ‘make the perfect host city’ for the games. Tony McDonough reports
Everton star Wayne Rooney is backing Liverpool’s bid to bring the Commonwealth Games to the city in 2022.
England’s all-time leading goalscorer, who has just rejoined the Blues from Manchester United, said Liverpool would “make the perfect host city” for the games.
Other sporting stars who are backing Liverpool’s bid include former Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard, boxer Tony Bellew and gymnast Beth Tweddle.
Battle with Birmingham
Liverpool is up against Birmingham in the race to be England’s choice to host the games with a decision due to be made by Commonwealth Games England next month.
The games in 2026 was the original target for Liverpool but with the South African city Durban stripped of host city status for 2022 due to financial concerns a slot for that year has opened up.
If Liverpool is chosen ahead of Birmingham it will still face competition from Canada and Malaysia.
Rooney, born and bred in Croxteth, has thrown his weight behind the bid which promises to transform the city and accelerate up to £1bn of investment in the docklands area.
Central to vision is a new stadium for Everton in Bramley Moore Dock, which will provide a “stunning” setting for the Commonwealth athletics.
Rooney said: “People’s passion for football within the city is recognised around the world but we also have a rich sporting tradition in the boxing ring, on our golf courses which have staged Open Championships, in athletics and gymnastics and, of course, Liverpool stages the jewel in the crown of National Hunt horseracing every year at Aintree, the Grand National.
“Bringing the Commonwealth Games to the city would be fantastic and fitting, showcasing again to the world what a great city Liverpool is and I support the bid wholeheartedly.”
Liverpool 2022 bid chair, Brian Barwick, added: “As a world-famous record-breaking footballer Wayne has proved to be a winner throughout his career and as a true Scouser his endorsement for the bid is very special.”