David Beckham booking
David Beckham was born in Leytonstone to parents Ted, a kitchen fitter, and Sandra, a hairdresser.
Beckham’s parents were fanatical Manchester United supporters who frequently travelled to Old
Trafford from London to attend the club’s home matches, so he naturally inherited their love of the
team and chose football as his main sporting passion. His love of football meant that his schooling
took second place. In 1991, aged 16, he left school and signed up to Manchester United’s youth
training scheme after his talent for the game had become evident. He had initially been on trial at
Tottenham. Beckham scored in the second leg of the FA Youth Cup final against Crystal Palace in
1992 and was part of a talented group of young players that included the likes of Nicky Butt, Paul
Scholes and the Neville brothers. Fresh from collecting his first piece of silverware with the youth
team, Beckham made his first appearance for United’s senior side that year, as a substitute in a
League Cup match against Brighton. He signed his first professional contract shortly afterwards.
United reached the final of the Youth Cup again the following year, with Beckham playing in the defeat
to Leeds United. During the 1994–95 season, Sir Alex Ferguson sent Beckham on loan to Preston
North End for some first-team experience. It wasn’t until 2 April 1995 that he made his first Premier
League appearance for Manchester United in a goalless draw against Leeds United.
Ferguson had a great deal of confidence in the club’s young players. When three of his first-team
players left the club at the end of the 1994-95 season, his decision to let youth team players replace
them instead of buying players from other clubs drew a great deal of criticism in the media. Beckham
became a regular in the first team and helped them to win the Premiership and FA Cup double,
scoring the winning goal in the semi-final against Chelsea and also taking the corner that Eric Cantona
scored from in the FA Cup Final. England manager Glenn Hoddle took a chance on Beckham by
including him in the starting line up for a match against Moldova in September 1996. It was Beckham’s
England debut and the team went on to win the game 3-0. United started the 1997-98 season well, yet
their performance deteriorated when several players got injured and they subsequently finished the
season in second place, behind Arsenal. Beckham had played in all of England’s qualifying matches
for the 1998 FIFA World Cup and was part of the England squad that travelled to France for the
showpiece event. However, Hoddle publicly accused Beckham of not concentrating on the tournament
and omitted him from the first two matches.
Beckham was picked for their third match against Colombia and scored in a 2–0 victory, which was his
first goal for England. In the second round of the tournament, Beckham received a red card in the
match against Argentina. The match finished in a draw and England were eliminated in a penalty
shootout. Many supporters and journalists blamed Beckham for England’s elimination and he became
the target of criticism and abuse, including the hanging of an effigy outside a London pub and death
threats. In that same year, Beckham started dating Victoria Adams, better know as Posh Spice from
The Spice Girls, and the couple were soon dubbed “Posh and Becks” by the media, which has since
stuck. In the 1998-99 season, United enjoyed a tremendously successful year when they won the
‘treble’ of league, FA Cup and Champions League – a unique feat in English football. Beckham was
pivotal in United’s FA Cup final win over Newcastle United and for the 1999 Uefa Champions League
Final against Bayern Munich, which led to him finishing as runner up to Rivaldo at the European
Footballer of the Year and Fifa World Player of the Year awards in 1999. Despite his achievements
that year, he remained unpopular among some opposition fans and journalists, and was criticised after
being sent off for a questionable challenge in Manchester United’s World Club Championship match
against Necaxa. It was suggested in the press that ‘Posh’ was a bad influence on him (they married at
Luttrellstown Castle, Ireland on 4 July 1999, four months after the birth of their first son, Brooklyn).
However, Sir Alex Ferguson publicly backed Beckham and he remained at the club.
The relationship between Ferguson and Beckham soon began to deteriorate though. In 2000,
Beckham was given permission to miss training to look after his son Brooklyn, who was ill with
gastroenteritis. Ferguson was livid, however, when Victoria Beckham was photographed at a London
Fashion Week event on the same night and claimed that Beckham would have been able to train if
Victoria had looked after Brooklyn instead. Ferguson responded by fining Beckham the maximum
amount that was permitted (two weeks’ wages – which was £50,000 at that time) and dropped him for
a crucial match against Leeds United. The tension between the two culminated in a dressing room
bust up that saw the manager kick a football boot at Beckham, resulting in a cut on his face. Rather
than playing the incident down, the ever media hungry Beckham walked the streets of Manchester the
next day showing off the stitches above his eye.
On 15 November 2000, following Kevin Keegan’s resignation as England manager, Beckham was
made captain. He responded by helping England to qualify for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Finals,
following a number of impressive performances that included a famous 5–1 victory over Germany in
Munich. Beckham’s relationship with Alex Ferguson had completely deteriorated by the end of the
2002 season though and in 2003, Beckham agreed a four-year contract with Real Madrid. Manchester
United accepted a fee of £24.5m for the England captain. Beckham’s Spanish career got off to the
perfect start when he scored on his debut during Real’s Spanish Super Cup win against Real Mallorca.
Sadly, his first season at the club was tainted by claims that he’d had an affair with his former personal
assistant, Rebecca Loos. Beckham denied the allegations but the usual tabloid frenzy ensued.
At the start of the 2006-2007 season, Beckham was reduced to a bit-part role under new coach Fabio
Capello and he subsequently stalled on contract renewal talks. On 11 January, Beckham announced
he had signed a five-year deal with MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy worth $250 million. Capello
responded by saying the midfielder would not play for Real again and Beckham spent the next month
watching the team playing from the sidelines. “He (Beckham) has always been a great professional,
but a player who has such an important contract with another club, we cannot count on him. He is not
going to play any more,” Capello commented. However, Beckham continued to train hard and
eventually regained his place for Real and England. Indeed, his Real Madrid career finished in glory as
the team pipped Barcelona for the Spanish league title. This ended the team’s four-year trophy
drought and was a suitably happy ending for Beckham in Spain. The 32-year-old was delighted his
family could experience the occasion at the Bernabeu. He added: “It’s amazing to have my family
here. They have been with me for four years in Spain and they’ve been through the ups and downs -
and they’ve felt the euphoria tonight. It meant the world to have everyone that supported me
throughout my career – my whole family, my wife, my mum and dad, my sister and children. It’s
incredible.” The move to Hollywood saw Posh and Becks enter the celebrity A-List. Indeed, Beckham
cites an hour-and-a-half long telephone conversation with Tom Cruise as having a huge influence on
his decision to join LA Galaxy.
Beckham was officially unveiled as a Galaxy player at the Home Depot Center in July 2007 in an event
that was watched by more than 5,000 fans and covered by 700 accredited members of the media.
Even before he appeared on the pitch, the publicity surrounding his move to the US resulted in Galaxy
jersey sales soaring. He made his debut for LA Galaxy later that month, coming on as a substitute in
the 78th minute of a friendly match with Chelsea, which was won by the English football club. Despite
his move to the US, where he achieved mixed results for LA Galaxy, Beckham was still keen to appear
for England and joined Milan on loan in January 2009 in order to keep this hope alive. During this
period Beckham revealed a desire for a permanent move to Milan, but Galaxy’s valuation of Beckham
proved too much for the Serie A club. This displeased LA Galaxy fans and they made their feelings
known upon his return to the club. He went on to have a second stint at Milan only to return to the US.
In March 2010, Beckham’s dreams of playing for England were ruined when a ruptured Achilles
tendon ruled him out of selection for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. However, manager
Fabio Capello allowed him to go to the tournament as part of the England back-room staff.
After England’s dismal performance at the event, Beckham went on to represent the nation in a slightly
different capacity when he helped campaign for the 2018 World Cup hosting bid. Russia was chosen
to host the tournament. Further proof of his importance to the game came in December 2010 when the
BBC honoured him with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year
show. As well as a new family member, Beckham also announced in the same week that he will returnto the United Kingdom to train with north London team Tottenham Hotspur. He is scheduled to train
with the squad until February when he will return to the US to play for LA Galaxy. On 12 January 2012,
after winning his first MLS cup, he signed another two-year contract with LA Galaxy after rumours that
he would sign up with Paris St Germain. At the time he explained: “My family and I are incredibly
happy and settled in America and we look forward to spending many more years here… I am still
passionate about playing in America and winning trophies with the Galaxy.” Away from the football
pitch, he is just as well-known for his fashion choices and modeling. He was the face of PepsiCo for
ten years, with the contract ending on 31 December 2008. He also launched his own range of male
fragrances called David Beckham Instinct in the UK and US in 2007, with his wife launching her own
range for women at the same time. More recently, Beckham designed a range of male underwear for
H+M, which he has gone on to model in the same vein as his modeling campaign for Armani in 2007.
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