Rooney showed no mercy to the man who had handed him his professional debut at Goodison Park back in April 2002, giving David Moyes another unhappy return to the ground where the Scot spent 11 years before joining Rooney in an ill-fated, short-lived spell at Manchester United.
Rooney’s treble, which was complemented by a late header from Ashley Williams, ensured caretaker David Unsworth bowed out on his brief yet troubled reign with a smile on his face, picking up a second win from seven games in all competitions.
“It was very enjoyable,” Rooney told the BBC.
”It was a difficult moment for us as a club. It was a big game with the new manager coming in. We needed a big performance and we had that - especially in the first half.
“We had to win. We had to stand up and show what good players we are. It’s the first step of where we want to go - moving up the league.”
Unsworth will return to his role with the club’s Under-23 team on Thursday when Sam Allardyce will be named as Everton’s permanent manager.
Allardyce was at Goodison Park after finalising a deal at the club’s Finch Farm training complex.
“Great hat-trick, great display from Wayne. He was captain for a reason,” Unsworth said.
Rooney enjoyed a slice of luck with his first goal as his poorly-struck penalty was saved by Joe Hart but landed at the perfect height for him to nod the ball straight back into the net and score for the first time since the 5-2 defeat by Arsenal on Oct. 22.
He thrashed in a cutback from fellow Everton youth academy graduate Jonjoe Kenny in the 28th minute but saved his best goal for last, reacting quickly to a scuffed pass from Joe Hart to drive the loose ball into the net from behind the halfway line.
“The third goal, it fell to me, Joe’s out of his goal and I thought I’ll have a go and I hit it sweet,” Rooney said.
“I tried to hit it hard and keep it under control. It was a perfect moment.”
West Ham manager Moyes said: “It’s what Wayne can do. He’s always got goals in him and technical ability. He’s got the knack of being in the right place to score goals.”
Allardyce had just one game with Rooney while in charge of England before he was forced to resign from the job after a newspaper sting but finds the all-time England and Manchester United top scorer in top form when he takes over at Everton.
“It’s a new chapter,” added Rooney.
“Sam is a very good manager. I‘m sure he’ll bring some new ideas. We’re looking forward to our first game with him tomorrow.”