As a teenager, the striker once removed his Toffees jersey in celebration to reveal a message that read: 'Once a Blue, Always a Blue'. Yet, following his big move to Manchester United in the summer of 2004, his relationship with Everton fans started to deteriorate almost immediately, to the point where he has kissed the United badge in front of them.
The frontman returned to Goodison twice during the 2004-05 campaign, where he was roundly jeered, but he was unable to trouble the scorers.
On the opening day of the next campaign, though, in a game that was played nine years ago today, Rooney silenced the boo boys with the type of performance that had once seen him idolised on Merseyside.
Visiting United dominated large parts of the opening 45 minutes, but it was Everton that went close midway through the half when Marcus Bent's effort deflected off Mikael Silvestre, only to cannon to safety off Edwin van der Sar's crossbar.
Sir Alex Ferguson's men then went on to make the most of that luck two minutes before the break when Ruud van Nistelrooy converted John O'Shea's low cross from close range after Rooney had played in the Irishman down the left flank.
An Everton response was anticipated, but within 27 seconds of the restart, the encounter was over as a contest. Home defender Joseph Yobo inexplicably played a square pass across the face of his own goal, which was intercepted by 19-year-old Rooney, who capped a lively showing by doubling his side's lead.
The hosts responded with plenty of possession, but they struggled to carve out any real goalscoring opportunities of note. Tim Cahill came closest to reducing the arrears, but he shot straight at Van der Sar. Meanwhile, up the other end, Park Ji Sung spurned two opportunities to round his debut off with a goal.
Speaking after his side's victory, Ferguson said: "We knew it would be a very tough game and it was, but the lads got stuck in and got the goals at the right time - just before half-time and just after. We dropped too many points against the bottom six last season and we never recovered. A lot of teams are going to come here and find it very difficult to play against Everton."
As for defeated boss Moyes, he said of Yobo's error: "The first thing a centre-half learns is you don't play square across the box. You do that in Sunday league teams. I'm disappointed because the goal made it a long way to come back from."
EVERTON: Martyn; Hibbert, Weir, Yobo, Pistone; Neville, Davies (Kilbane), Arteta, Cahill, Osman (Ferguson); Beattie (Bent)
MAN UNITED: Van der Sar; Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, O'Shea; Fletcher (Heinze), Keane, Scholes (Smith), Park (Richardson); Rooney, van Nistelrooy