Rooney gets the Sweeney treatment

Readers disappointed with Wayne Rooney's first 'official' biography may be drawn to the unauthorised account of the life so far of England's prospective World Cup hero due to hit the bookstands in May.

Rooney's Gold, written by award-winning but controversial investigative journalist John Sweeney, promises to cut to the chase with somewhat less restraint than one suspects Hunter Davies could allow himself when Wayne Rooney: My Story So Far (HarperSport) appeared in 2006.

Sweeney, whose back catalogue includes works on the despotic Romanian president Nicolae Ceausescu and Britain's arms trade with Iraq, gained notoriety in 2007 for his on-screen shouting match with Church of Scientology representative Tommy Davis, which was aired on the BBC's Panorama programme.

His delving into Rooney's Liverpool upbringing and what now has to pass for a 'private' life was due to have been published in the same year, under the Random House imprint Century and entitled Roo Unzipped, but was withdrawn, reportedly because of legal issues.

The revised and updated version, said to include observations on Liverpool's gang culture and the modern world's obsession with celebrity, is a first venture into sport for Biteback, a publisher on politics and current affairs run by the journalist, author and heavyweight political blogger, Iain Dale.

Up until now, Dale's passion for football had been indulged through his other, rather different blogging platform, West Ham 'Till I Die.

Rooney's Gold -- not to be confused with the 1984 novel of the same name by the late English crime writer Isobel Lambot -- is due for publication on May 27.

Featured titles (click for more information):

Wayne Rooney: My Story So Far

Rooney's Gold

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