Wayne Rooney made a winning start to life at Derby. Image Credit: Reuters

Derby: Wayne Rooney marked his return to English football with an assist on his Derby County debut as he captained the club to a 2-1 win over Barnsley in the Championship on Thursday night.

The 34-year-old, Manchester United and England’s most prolific striker, signed an initial 18-month deal at the second-tier side where he will also work as a coach as he chases his dream of being a manager.

Rooney, who last played for US Major League Soccer side DC United, floated a free-kick into the box at the stroke of half-time which allowed striker Jack Marriott to give Derby the lead.

“It was a big night for myself, big night for the club, a lot of excitement, but the main priority tonight was to get three points,” Rooney told the BBC. “It feels good to finally make my debut and help the team win.”