Now arguably the most famous footballer in the
world, David Beckham was not always a household name. The boy from East London first made everyone sit up and take note in his own inimitable fashion
by scoring a wonder goal on the first day of the 1995-6 English football season. When he lobbed a 60-yard belter from inside his own half to beat
Wimbledon goalkeeper Neil Sullivan, a footballing phenomenon was created.
Love him or loathe him there is only one David Beckham. His footballing skill is without doubt a shining example for all other footballers to follow.
And with every game he plays, be it domestic or international, his reputation, for producing only the best football and the scoring of some
spectacular goals, gathers greater foundation.
David Robert Joseph Beckham
May 2 1975
As a lad, David Beckham's parents were Manchester United supporters and they bought him
Man United kits. However his grandparents were Tottenham Hotspur fans and used to get him Spurs kits.David started playing football for his local
side, Ridgeway Rovers and first kicked a ball at Old Trafford at eleven years old when he won the ' TSB Bobby Charlton Soccer Skills'
Finals.Manchester United scout, Malcolm Fidgeon was watching David playing for Ridgeway and decided to talk to David's parents about David playing for
United. But his parents decided their son should finish school at Chingford before joining Manchester United.From then on David went to every game
Manchester United played in London and in 1987 he was the United mascot for the match at West Ham.
After finishing his schooling, David started playing for the West Ham United
youth team but Manchester United decided to steal David from the Hammers (allegedly) and have David in their youth team instead, but David was happy
about this because after all, he was a United supporter. But West Ham don't say much about it because West Ham stole Jermain Defoe from Charlton
Athletic (allegedly). So then David moved to live with foster parents in Manchester.David helped the United Youth team win the 1992 FA Youth Cup. A
few months later he made his first team debut at Brighton in a Coca Cola Cup match. A few months later he became a professional player with Manchester
United.In 1994, after scoring against Galatasaray in the Champions League, Alec Ferguson loaned David to Preston North End to gain some first team
experience. A month later he returned to Old Trafford and made his Premiership debut against Leeds.
The skinny teenager rose from cleaning the first team's boots to a spell in the
reserves, before making his league debut in 1995, just a month shy of his twentieth birthday. But it wasn't until 1997 that he really emerged into the
spotlight when he met and fell for Spice Girl Victoria Adams, commonly known as Posh.But it was in the 1996-97 season that David Beckham truly
arrived. In United's opening game at Selhurst Park he scored a goal from just inside his own half which guaranteed him headlines for the rest of his
career.He was very nearly driven to leave England after receiving constant abuse from opposition supporters after his sending off against Argentina in
the 1998 World Cup. He had the best season of his career following that sending off and has even established himself as England captain in recent
times.And, apart from making himself a permanent fixture as England captain leading the boys to the quarterfinals in the 2002 World Cup David became a
dad for the second time in 2002, welcoming baby son Romeo on September 1. Marriage and fatherhood evidently agree with the sporting icon and David's
football has never been better.
United and Beckham went on to win the 2003 Premiership title.Beckham was
now at a sporting and celebrity high and this was reflected in his growing following on the pitch but more intensely off it. It was this "celebrity
factor" which began to put Beckham out of favour in the eyes of Alex Ferguson. Beckham continued to give his all on the pitch but was increasingly
seen by the United manager as giving England and his celebrity lifestyle more of a priority than United. This of course wasn't the case but resulted
in Beckham being left on the sidelines against Real Madrid in the Champions League and a reported rift between the player and manager developed after
a dressing room "incident" where Beckham was hit in the face by a boot kicked by Ferguson.But press reports on the rift and speculation on a possible
transfer grew and grew. It all came to a head in June whilst David was on a promotional tour in the USA. Barcelona's presidential candidate Joan
Laporta announced he would sign Beckham if elected and to everyone's suprise Manchester United agreed to sell Beckham in such an event.
After intense media speculation it was announced in 2003 that the life-long Manchester Utd fan
would be moving to Real Madrid for 25 million on a four-year contract in the summer.Then in November 2003, Beckham was honoured with the "best" award
he'd ever received an OBE from the Queen. "It's not just for me but for Manchester United, England, all of my teammates and my family," he
said.Beckham now starts a new chapter in his career. Despite his new haircuts and his star status, he will not detract from his football for which he
continues to tune and perfect.
Preston North End (England), Manchester United (England), Real Madrid (Spain)
1991 - Signs as trainee for Manchester United
1992 - Wins FA Youth Cup
1992 - Makes senior team debut with Manchester Utd in Coca Cola Cup
1993 - Signs as professional for Manchester United
1995 - Plays five games on loan to Preston North End
1995 - Makes league debut for Manchester Utd against Leeds
1996 - Manchester Utd win FA Premiership
1996 - Manchester Utd win FA Cup
1996 - Makes International debut for England against Moldova
Player of the Month - August 1996
Sky Sports/Panasonic Young Player award
Sky Sports/Panasonic Fans' Footballer award
1997 - Manchester Utd win FA Charity Shield
1997 - Manchester Utd win FA Premiership
PFA Young Player of the Year
Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year
1999 - Manchester Utd win FA Premiership
1999 - Manchester Utd win FA Cup
1999 - Manchester Utd win UEFA Champions League
UEFA Most Valuable Player
UEFA Best Midfielder
2000 - Manchester United win FA Premiership
2000 - Appointed England national team captain
Voted second in World and European Player of the Year awards
2001 - Manchester United win FA Premiership
Voted Sportsman of the Year by Sports Writers Association
Voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Voted second in FIFA World Player of the Year
2003 - Manchester United win FA Premiership
2003 - Beckham awarded OBE
2003 - Signs for Real Madrid for 25million
2003 - Makes his debut for Real Madrid against Dragon Team IX (China)
2003 - Scores his first goal for Real Madrid against FC Tokyo
2003 - Makes his Spanish debut in friendly against Valencia.
2003 - Real Madrid win Spanish Super Cup
2003 - Makes La Liga debut against Real Betis
[Edited on 5/8/04 by TRD]
[Edited on 5/8/04 by TRD]