The 35-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal to take charge of the Rams until the summer of 2023. They are currently in the Championship relegation zone.
And as a direct result of the appointment, Rooney has announced his decision to retire from playing with immediate effect to concentrate solely on the role.
Rooney’s retirement from playing brings down the curtain on an illustrious career in which he became record goalscorer for the England national team and won every conceivable honour with Manchester United.
Wayne Rooney is now a manager having been appointed as Derby County boss permanently
Rooney’s official retirement from playing football brings the curtain down on an illustrious career for England’s all-time record goalscorer
Rooney with his wife Coleen and children Kai, Klay, Kit and Cass in an Instagram picture
Emerging as a precocious 17-year-old at boyhood club Everton, Rooney quickly became one of the finest players of his generation for club and country.
Shouldering an intense burden of expectation, he shone for England at Euro 2004 – his first international tournament – and then signed for Manchester United in a transfer worth £25million at the age of 18.
Rooney went on to become United’s all-time record goalscorer with 253 goals in 559 games over 13 largely successful seasons in which he won five Premier League titles, the FA Cup, three League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League.
He scored 53 goals in 120 games for England but was sadly not able to deliver the Three Lions long-awaited success at a tournament.
Rooney only joined Derby a year ago – joining on an 18-month contract as a player-coach from MLS side DC United.
Rooney emerged as a precocious teenage striker at boyhood club Everton in the 2002 season
Sir Alex Ferguson brought Rooney to Manchester United in a £25million transfer in 2004
However, his role changed in November when Phillip Cocu was sacked as Derby manager. As a result, Rooney became caretaker manager.
And after going unbeaten in seven of his nine matches during that spell, the Derby board have decided to appoint Rooney – signalling an end to his illustrious playing career.
Speaking on Friday shortly after confirmation of his permanent appointment, Rooney said: ‘My whole life has been playing football, so I’m fortunate that I’m still part of it. It’s a new chapter for me. Will I miss playing? Of course.
‘But, time doesn’t stop. I’ve had my time, it’s time for the younger generation to have their time and for me to guide them.
‘My future is in management. I’ve had a great career with a few ups and a few downs, but I wouldn’t change anything.
He went on to become United’s all-time record goalscorer and won every honour in the game
Rooney’s playing career
77 games, 17 goals
MANCHESTER UNITED 2004-2017
559 games, 253 goals
40 games, 11 goals
DC UNITED 2018-2019
52 games, 25 goals
DERBY COUNTY 2019-2020
35 games, 7 goals
120 games, 53 goals
Premier League 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13
FA Cup 2015-16
League Cup 2005-06, 2009-10, 2016-17
Community Shield 2007, 2010, 2011, 2016
UEFA Champions League 2007-08
UEFA Europa League 2016-17
FIFA Club World Cup 2008
‘I’ve been very fortunate to play for some massive teams. Come through the academy at Everton and play in the first-team was a dream come true.
’13 years at Manchester United was the highlight of my career for the trophies I won, very grateful for the opportunity and I enjoyed every minute of it.
‘Going out to the States and coming to Derby County was to help the teams be successful but also to give me more experience in different leagues.
‘But now, I’d like to write some history in my managerial career.
‘It is something I have been preparing for and working for for a number of years. It is what I want to do.
‘I’ve had a taste of it over the last couple of months and I’ve enjoyed it. I’m ready to get Derby County back up the league.’
He added: ‘This football club is huge. This club will always be trying to grow and achieve big things. For me, to try and help the club get back to its glory days is a massive opportunity.’
Bursting into the England set-up as a teenager, Rooney became the national team’s all-time leading scorer but couldn’t help them win a tournament
Rooney was renowned for spectacular goals, not least this bicycle kick for Manchester United against local rivals Manchester City in 2011
Rooney lifts the European Cup after Manchester United’s win over Chelsea in 2008
Rooney told the club’s official website: ‘When I first arrived back in the United Kingdom I was completely blown away by the potential of Derby County Football Club. The Stadium, Training Ground, the quality of the playing staff and the young players coming through and of course the fan base that has remained loyal and supportive.
‘Despite other offers I knew instinctively Derby County was the place for me.
‘To be given the opportunity to follow the likes of Brian Clough, Jim Smith, Frank Lampard and Phillip Cocu is such an honour and I can promise everyone in involved in the club and all our fans, my staff and I will leave no stone unturned in achieving the potential I have witnessed over the last 12 months of this historic football club.’
Rooney and son Kai celebrate with the Premier League trophy after United’s 2013 title win
He joined Derby as a player last January and then became caretaker manager in November
Rooney has plenty of work on to lift Derby out of the relegation zone in the Championship
Derby’s next six games
Saturday Rotherham United (H)
Tuesday Bournemouth (H)
January 23 Queens Park Rangers (A)
January 30 Bristol City (H)
February 2 Rotherham United (A)
February 6 Barnsley (A)
Rooney will take charge of his first game as permanent manager on Saturday at home to Championship rivals Rotherham United.
But he will have his work cut out with Derby currently in the relegation zone in England’s second tier.
And speaking about the Rams’ new era under Rooney, their chief executive officer Stephen Pearce couldn’t contain his excitement.
‘Our recent upturn in results under Wayne was married together with some positive performances, notably the 2-0 home win over Swansea City and the 4-0 victory at Birmingham City.
‘During that nine-game run we also dramatically improved their defensive record and registered five clean sheets in the process, while in the attacking third we became more effective and ruthless too.
‘Those foundations have provided a platform for the club to build on in the second half of the season under Wayne’s guidance.’