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Saturday 3 December 2016

One of the best things is hearing the boys say 'I love you, Mummy'

Wayne and Coleen Rooney (Photo: Getty)
Wayne and Coleen Rooney (Photo: Getty)

The nursery's ready, and Coleen Rooney, who's looking forward to the birth of her third child, is excited to find out whether she and Wayne will welcome a little girl or boy.

"Everyone keeps asking me which sex I think it is, but we honestly don't know. We didn't find out the sex because we wanted it to be a surprise," the 29-year-old says. "I didn't know the sex the first time either. The second time, I found out, but this time we decided not to because we'll be perfectly happy whichever it is.

"I don't know why, but I've felt really energised with this pregnancy. I've been very lucky with my pregnancies - I've never had sickness or swollen ankles or anything - and I've managed to keep up my fitness. I do a mixture of ballet, yoga and Pilates, and maybe that's helped. Or maybe with two little boys to run around after I haven't had time to feel tired."

She and Wayne (30), the Manchester United and England captain, have been together 13 years, married for six, and already have two sons, Kai (6) and two-year-old Klay.

If they have a girl it's unlikely they'll carry on the theme of names beginning with K - because so far Coleen hasn't discovered one she likes.

"There's no decision yet, we'll just wait and see," says Coleen. "Will this baby complete the family? I'm not sure. It's all about having enough time to give to each child, and three kids is a lot. I always wanted a big family, and three is a nice number, so I think we'll just see how we get along."

It's already a busy household with two little boys tearing about, but Coleen - who grew up in Croxteth, Liverpool, and was a 16-year-old schoolgirl when she started dating Wayne, who was 17 - loves every minute of it.

"I love being a mum. One of the best things is hearing the boys laugh and hearing them say, 'I love you, Mummy'. I've always been a maternal person, and there were a lot of children in my family who I helped look after. So motherhood came pretty naturally to me.

"Wayne is a great dad and very hands-on with the boys, but when we had Kai, things were very new to him. He hadn't had a lot of babies in his family, so he had to learn a lot, but with Klay he was much more confident, and this time around it will be just natural to him."

Coleen admits there was one outcome of parenting that neither of them was prepared for - the change in lifestyle.

"It was a shock to the system the amount of time you have to give to your children," she says.

Date

"Before we had kids, whenever Wayne had unexpected time off from training or playing we could just take off and go and do something or have a holiday. When you have one child who's now at school, and another little one, you just can't do that."

One permanent arrangement in the calendar is a regular date night.

"I know couples who just have no time for each other because of all the demands of family life, and that puts a big pressure on a marriage. So once a week we'll go to the cinema or a show and out for dinner, just the two of us," says Coleen, whose first date with her husband was a trip to the cinema to see an Austin Powers movie.

Recently, in the BBC documentary Rooney: The Man Behind The Goals, Wayne revealed himself as surprisingly romantic - he writes love poetry for his wife.

"Wayne is very thoughtful," says Coleen, "and he can also be very romantic - when he tries."

They most enjoy time away from the spotlight when they're together at home, she says, in Prestbury, near Manchester, in their £5m (€6.8m) neo-Georgian mansion set in 20 acres, complete with swimming pool and football pitch.

"It's rare we get a whole day together with Wayne's schedule, training and playing inter- nationally as well as at home, but when we do it's lovely just also to stay in, relax together and do ordinary things. Kai loves board games, especially snakes and ladders, so we'll sit down and have a game of that," says Coleen, who Wayne describes as "the boss at home" because she plans everything.

"I like to be hands-on and active with the kids and I do like to organise things, so we make the most of our time together."

While football dominates her husband's life, Coleen says it has taken time for their eldest son to get the bug - until recently Kai preferred golf.

"He was never interested until about eight months ago, and then all of a sudden he's just gone football mad. He plays at school and is always having a kick-about in the garden with his dad," says Coleen.

"Funnily enough, Klay's the opposite - he's always loved kicking a ball. There's that saying, 'He could kick a ball before he could walk', and that's true of him. But now he's getting more interested in other toys rather than footballs."

She's delighted that her sons are close. "They absolutely love each other and that's something I really hoped for because I've got two brothers, Joe and Anthony, and to this day we still do everything together. My brothers and I shared a bond which has continued, and it's lovely to see it in my sons already.

"When Kai and Klay get up in the morning, the first thing they ask is where the other one is. Of course, they fight and argue, that's normal, but they do love each other.

Kai's really confident and will make friends with anyone wherever he goes and is a bit of an entertainer, whereas Klay is softer, very loving and can be shy at first, but once he gets to know someone he comes out of his shell."

While motherhood is her priority, Coleen has also branched out into TV presenting.

"I never set out to have my own role, it just happened, but I'm quite a strong character and I enjoy the stuff I do.

"I hope to continue that with being a hands-on wife and mother and spending as much time as possible with the children."

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