Wayne Rooney has moved level with Sir Bobby Charlton as Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer.
The 31-year-old’s FA Cup strike against Reading took him to 249 in 543 games, reaching the landmark 215 matches and four seasons quicker than Charlton.
The record had stood since 1973 but Rooney now seems certain to beat it.
“This club is a huge part of my life and I’m honoured to be up there alongside Sir Bobby,” said Rooney following the 4-0 win.
“It’s a proud moment. To do it at a massive club like Manchester United, I’m hugely honoured.”
Manager Jose Mourinho added: “A more special day will arrive. It was great but I want one more goal! He is an amazing guy in the group and we all want him to do it. To have Wayne as the top scorer in a club like this is magnificent for him.”
In 2015, Rooney surpassed World Cup winner Charlton’s England scoring record of 49 goals and has since taken his tally to 53.
The United landmark comes during a season in which the England captain has been left out of the starting line-up for both club and country, his record-equalling goal being just his fourth of the campaign.
As Old Trafford celebrated the occasion, the stadium announcer made sure he remembered the ‘other’ player: ‘Manchester United’s goalscorer, and equalling Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 249…’
Up in the directors’ box, blinking through his glasses under a dark, brimmed hat, Charlton looked down. Wife Norma sat alongside, applauding generously.
At 79, Charlton was not on his feet like others around him as the ball lobbed in off Rooney’s right knee. But close by, Sir Alex Ferguson, who paid £27m to buy the then 18-year-old striker from Everton in 2004, was up and applauding.
The genuine enthusiasm and warmth around the stadium as Rooney celebrated the landmark was an acknowledgement of what he has achieved.