MIKE TYSON gave Wayne Rooney some first-hand advice about the perils of global fame after the striker joined Manchester United.
Former sparring partner of the heavyweight champion Joe Egan has revealed the pair's eagerness to meet up back in the mid-2000s.
Earlier on Thursday, Rooney, who practiced boxing in his youth, posted an old photo of himself with his idol Tyson onto Instagram.
And Tyson had even brought a gift to hand over to the footballer while he was in Manchester for an event.
Egan told SunSport: "Wayne Rooney, in particular, was one of the stars Mike wanted to meet because he had so much admiration for Wayne.
"So when Mike was over for an after-dinner speech in the UK about more than 15 years ago, in Manchester, I was with him.
"The table that had been reserved for the team was given to the Carrington training ground staff because the team was stuck in traffic after an away match. But on another table there was Wayne’s wife, Coleen, and her family.
"Mike had prepared a presentation for Wayne, but he presented it to Coleen’s brother – Wayne’s brother-in-law – instead.
Mike imparted a bit of advice and gave him some inside knowledge for when you’re a rising superstar. Wayne really appreciated his concern.
"Mike had a lot of respect and admiration for Wayne because he knew the pressure on his young shoulders at the time.
"Although Wayne and the United team didn’t make it to the event, I introduced him to Mike in a restaurant in Manchester called Lounge Ten later that night.
"This place has a high profile clientele and a pedigree of attracting the region’s celebrities including A-list sports stars. A friend of Wayne’s and Mike’s owned this restaurant who hosted a private intimate dinner for Mike – for only 100 people."
Although Tyson enjoyed a legendary career in the ring, he battled bankruptcy after a frivolous lifestyle that culminated in his rape conviction at the age of 25.
Keen to use his experiences to educate Rooney on dealing with success, fame and money, Tyson's words were greatly appreciated by the player.
Egan added: "Wayne was over the moon to meet Mike and Mike was over the moon to meet Wayne. An ex-boxer himself, Wayne loves and follows the sport of boxing and he’s a very good fighter himself.
"Because they’re both superstars, Mike wanted to speak to Wayne about the pitfalls and the problems that the young superstars could encounter.
"So Mike imparted a little bit of advice and gave him some inside knowledge on things to watch out for when you’re a rising superstar. Wayne really appreciated his advice and concern.
"Everybody’s aware of what’s happened in Mike’s life, the pitfalls and people taking liberties during and after his career.
"The lawsuits, thieving promoters, personal and social problems in life spiralling out of control with multiple court trials and bad investments, Mike has experienced it all.
"Wayne used to box as an amateur. He’s around boxers and some of his best friends are boxers. We talked about boxing as the evening went on."
On sparring with Tyson, Dublin-born Egan recalls how the American's intent and determination in the ring never let up.
He added: "I can attest that every punch that Mike threw he wanted to hurt you with the punch, every punch had a bad intention.
"Mike was the type of guy that if he missed you with a punch you’d get pneumonia from the draught. He was such a ferocious puncher. He called me The Toughest White Man on the Planet because I could take all he gave and still stand."
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