The term was first used by the British tabloid press to refer to the wives and girlfriends of high-profile footballers, originally the England national football team.
It came into common use during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, although the term had been used occasionally before that.
WAGs (or Wags) is an acronym used to refer to Wives And Girlfriends of high-profile professional athletes.
The term may also be used in the singular form, WAG, to refer to a specific female partner or life partner.
The former golden couple tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in July 2006 – but split less than four years later amid reports he was unfaithful. Cheryl, 34, has also made a return to the spotlight after keeping a low-profile in the first months of motherhood.
Mrs Rooney noted that "apparently more and more women are getting into debt because they try to shop and party like a footballer's wife.
If I heard of anyone doing that, I'd tell them to get a grip".
Sunday Times columnist India Knight observed, while waiting in an airport queue, that "it's as if a low-level wannabe footballer's wife vibe that is neither aesthetically pleasing nor edifying has become the norm ... Among other features, Knight identified "enough pink glitter to satisfy the girliest of five-year-olds", massive handbags and huge designer sunglasses.
Interest in the partners of footballers dates back at least to the late 1950s when the long-serving England captain Billy Wright married the singer Joy Beverley.
By the late 1960s, then-captain Bobby Moore (1941–93) and his first wife Tina had become regarded as a stylish and "golden" couple.