Everton star Wayne Rooney has admitted that he made a “stupid mistake” after drink driving but has said that he has found himself enjoying his community service work.
The former England captain, 32, admitted the charge in court in October and was given a two-year driving ban plus 120 hours of community service as punishment.
While the former Manchester United striker regrets his actions, his community service has provided an opportunity to change his perspective on life.
“I held my hands up. I made a mistake,” he told Talksport. “I knew straight away I had made a stupid mistake and I have to move on.
“It is not nice. I’ve got children and it is not nice for them to see that and I try to move on and learn from it which I feel I am doing.”
Rooney is working in a garden centre in Macclesfield in order to give something back to the community.
“I’m still doing it and am about halfway through it,” he said. “It wasn’t something that I was thinking I wanted to be doing because obviously I’ve got children at home and when you have a day off you want to rest. But I’ve really enjoyed doing it.
“I’ve been working with adults with learning difficulties in a garden centre and especially around this period at Christmas, going in and helping them with different things.
“I’m honestly really enjoying it, working with these people, and it is a place I will certainly keep in touch with when my hours are over.
“Seeing what they do, they obviously need support in what they do, there are a lot of adults with learning difficulties who need a little bit of help and guidance with what they do and someone there to help them.
“The staff there are doing a fantastic job and when I go they make me feel really welcome.
“I will keep in touch with them and try to help. Just going in, they have made me feel so welcome. There has been no stick. We don’t actually talk about football, it is a refreshing place to go and it is relaxing, you are with people and doing things you wouldn’t do normally if I didn’t go there. It has been great. It is not somewhere I would say I would go and do but I’m in that position and try to make it work and I’ll certainly keep in touch.”
Rooney has hit his stride for Everton since Sam Allardyce was appointed as manager, scoring five Premier League goals in four outings, plus adding one assist and being handed the captain’s armband as the club’s fortunes have improved.