Monday, 20 December 2010

David Beckham A True Legend

When I heard that David Beckham was going to be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sports Personality Of The Year Awards tonight I must admit that I was a little bemused. The reason for this is that when you think how long someone like Bobby Robson or Bobby Charlton took to be awarded it, it seemed to me to be a little crash. However after watching it tonight I totally changed my mind.

Ive been lucky enough to have met him twice. The first time he made me look an idiot, it wasn't his fault I just happened to be the goalkeeper playing against him as a kid. He mugged me at least 4 times and I got such the hump I wanted to come off. No one had done the things he was doing with a football to me before. I was a good keeper as well I was on Portsmouth's books as a kid playing with Darren Anderton and I thought Id seen it all. Oh no he was different class even then. All the parents stood there in awe, as did most of my team mates which didn't help me much, as he seemed to score at will. I had no idea who he was then, but could see he was totally different class. It was only when we got back to Portsmouth that Jimmy Greenhoff, Peter Osgood  and Alan Ball started talking about this kid called Beckham that we took note of the name.

The second time was an even bigger shock. We had taken my Mum and Dad to dinner for their anniversary. They had never been in a limo so we booked one and went to Smiths. We were shown to our table and as I sat down in he walked. My Dad couldn't see him as he had his back to him and when he saw my mouth drop open he came over and shook my hand. Gobsmacked a mumbled something like 'I love you' well it may well have been I couldn't speak. My Dad saw him stood up and chatted away for a good 10 minutes too him. Now seeing as he was there for his Nans birthday with Victoria and his kids, that to me showed what a legend he is. He spoke to my Mum then invited Victoria over as well and they BOTH chatted for a few minutes to us all. He asked for no photos as he had his kids there which was fine by us.

He has been a style icon as well as a footballer. Yes he fell out with Sir Alex but he has been welcomed back with open arms since hasn't he. Put his name on the back of a club shirt and the sales increase 200%. How many players can do that? Not many. He puts bums on seats and Ive watched him live many times down the years. You think he's having a quiet game then bang your one nil down. Id pay to watch him every week. When we talk about the players of the future we cant go to far wrong with showing them Beckham in his pomp, plus hes English as well. We should promote that more than trying to knock him down all the time like some do.

I cannot think of a footballer that has crossed all ages like he has in my lifetime. To go from being the most hated man in England after the 1998 World Cup to how the nation regards him now is some achievement. He has played for three of the biggest clubs in the World and won trophies at two of them. Some achievement. To me he was the best player this country had produced since Bobby Moore. He may have been criticised for his lack of pace but he was never an out and out winger. He was a play maker the like we hadn't seen for many years. He could stick a ball on a forwards head from 40 yards without looking. It was instinctive.

He had his detractors who said he was to busy chasing the showbiz lifestyle and that his wife controlled him. Well I found her funny and smart and incredibly good looking ( I offered too take her to the local chippy but she politely declined. Well it was worth an ask surely?). I guess what I'm trying to say is that for me he is the kind of footballer that I want my kids to look up to. Not the Rooney's and Terry's of this world. He didn't ask for anything over than to play for his country and his club. He never asked the fans for anything and he always gave everything on the pitch.

When he got that award tonight the standing ovation said it all. Then you looked at him and he was welling up. That's how much that meant to him. That's what it meant to him too play for the clubs he did and England and it was a great touch mentioning Preston North End as well. So Beckham well deserved on your reward mate, I was wrong to doubt that it was right to give it to you. Whatever you now decide to do with your life after you finish playing football I wish you well and happiness. This word is used quite a lot but tonight I saw a true Legend and I cant think of any other way of putting it.

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