Here is the moment, Wayne Rooney helped investigators justify the fate of a conman who made £1million from thousands of people by selling sports memorabilia, including jerseys, boots, balls and others.
The Everton star and former England striker provided an autograph for Trading Standards Investigators to prove it wasn’t the same as the one faked on a Manchester United shirt by David Rennie.
According to Daily Mail, Rennie claimed he had a team who spent hours waiting outside football training grounds for stars like Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to sign goods like shirts, balls and boots.
Over a nine-year period, Rennie reportedly sold 4,500 autographed items to football fans for as much as £700 each.
It was also revealed that the conman was buying large quantities of replica shirts from high street shops and using Sharpie permanent marker pen to create very good fake autographs of footballers on them.
After receiving complaints about Rennie’s online business, FA Premier Signings, Officials from Dorset Trading Standards bought a jersey of Manchester United shirt supposedly signed by Rooney for £150.
For verification, they reached out to Terry Baker, of A1 Sporting Memorabilia, which represents Rooney, and he took the fake shirt to the former Manchester United player who confirmed it was actually fake.
Following an eight-month investigation into Rennie, Trading Standards investigators disclosed that he had conned 4,500 victims over the years.
According to the investigators, his victims included a mother who paid £300 for a ‘signed’ Thierry Henry shirt to cheer up her son after his father died and a woman who paid £280 for a football signed by 23 Liverpool players for her husband’s 40th birthday.
The Bournemouth Crown Court also heard that Rennie sold 200 items supposedly signed by Lionel Messi, 272 ‘signed’ by Real Madrid star Ronaldo, 335 bearing Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard’s signature and 220 with Wayne Rooney’s name.
Rennie, 46, from Banbury, Oxfordshire, was today found guilty of fraud charges following a four day trial at the court. He will return to court next month for sentencing.
His estranged wife Clare, 45, who had previously pleaded guilty to her part in the con and is also awaiting sentence.