Once ribbed by the press for her fashion sense and spending sprees, Coleen McLoughlin took four short years to make the leap from schoolgirl to covergirl. Having emerged into the public eye as the teenage fiancée of England footie ace Wayne Rooney, she has gone on to become a fully fledged celebrity in her own right, applauded for her style and wooed to front big-name ad campaigns.
At 16 Coleen revealed to her school yearbook that she planned on being "famous and living a life of luxury" in ten years time. While childhood pal Jenny Mulhaney revealed her chum was "always outgoing and you could see she was destined for stardom", even the determined teen is unlikely to have imagined the extent to which that dream would come true.
The rise from footballer's fiancée to style icon and wealthy celeb was not without its hurdles, however. Born in 1986 in Liverpool to a bricklayer who ran a boxing club and a nursery nurse mum, Coleen grew up in the city's tough Croxteth district. The pretty blonde was just 12 when she first met the boy who would change the course of her life. Young love blossomed after Wayne Rooney plucked up the courage to ask her for a date, seizing the moment when he lent a hand after the chain had come off her bike.
While Wayne - who at the age of nine had signed as an apprentice with Liverpool football team Everton - concentrated on his sport, Coleen was busy with her homework. A hardworking student and deputy head of her Catholic girl's school, she gained an impressive ten GCSEs, at the same time working Saturdays in a clothes shop where she earned £3.65 an hour. But as she embarked upon her A-levels, life began to take a very different course.
In October 2003, fresh from his England debut, her 17-year-old beau proposed to her on a garage forecourt. She accepted, leaving school later that year and going on to land a small role in the Merseyside soap Hollyoaks
. Soon the pair, who plan to tie the knot in summer 2008, were established in a millionaire-style mansion in nearby Formby.
Wayne's new-found fame as football's wonder kid brought him instant wealth which he had no hesitation in spending on gifts for his girlfriend. Able to indulge her passion for fashion, Coleen quickly became known for her taste in Juicy Couture tracksuits and Pucci kaftans. Her penchant for designer labels led to some less than favourable commentary in the press, but she soon had critics eating their words.
Since then the Croxteth lass has forged a confident sense of style, often mixing designer creations with canny high-street purchases. She has appeared on the covers of Vogue
and Marie Claire
, writes her own magazine column, and signed a reported £10 million deal to launch her own cosmetics and perfume range.
With lucrative modelling contracts with Asda and a mobile phone company under her belt, as well as royalties from her fitness DVD, Coleen has been quick to lavish gifts on her boyfriend. These have included a Rolex watch and an Aston Martin, intended to cheer up the injured soccer star after he broke a bone in his foot before the 2006 World Cup.
Despite her new-found wealth and celebrity status, Coleen says she can never forget her roots and insists she and Wayne will keep their feet on the ground. "Sometimes Wayne will sit there and say: 'I can't believe it'. But you don't take it for granted. If either of us did, we'd say something."
The family orientated model is not afraid of using that fame to highlight a cause close to her heart, however. In May 2006 she appeared on Tonight With Trevor McDonald
to help support children's hospices. "You may know me as Wayne Rooney's girlfriend," she told viewers, "or even Coleen the shopaholic. But I'm just a normal girl and I've got an eight-year-old sister called Rosie who suffers from the genetic disorder Rett Syndrome."
As a result of the childhood neurodevelopmental problem, Coleen's adopted younger sibling spends two days a month in a Merseyside hospice, and it was for facilities like this that the hard-working blonde was helping raise funds and awareness.