David Beckham: My Sideby David Beckham
The Last Word on David Beckham
There is only one David Beckham and it's not always the one you read about in the newspapers and magazines or see in the movies. From humble East End London beginnings, the boy with prodigious soccer skills grew up to be one of the most gifted athletes of his generation as well as a sex symbol and fashion icon. Along the/p>
The Last Word on David Beckham
There is only one David Beckham and it's not always the one you read about in the newspapers and magazines or see in the movies. From humble East End London beginnings, the boy with prodigious soccer skills grew up to be one of the most gifted athletes of his generation as well as a sex symbol and fashion icon. Along the way he married Spice Girl Victoria "Posh" Adams, and together they inhabit a celebrity whirlwind of Diana-esque proportions. In Both Feet on the Ground, David talks candidly about the perils of fame (his wife and son were the targets of a notorious kidnapping plot and he is the subject of almost daily tabloid rumors); the struggle to balance his roles as a devoted husband and besotted father with his globetrotting existence as an international soccer star; the behind-the-scenes stories of his most memorable and heartbreaking (if only he could retake that infamous penalty kick against Portugal in Euro 2004) career moments; the controversy surrounding his first year at Real Madrid after his $41 million transfer from Manchester United, the storied English team he joined as a teenager and led for more than a decade; and, finally, his love of America, where he plans to start a soccer school and perhaps, one day, even play professionally.
Both Feet on the Ground is David Beckham's own extraordinary story, told by the man who knows him best David Beckham.
- Ulverscroft Large Print Books, Ltd.
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Read an Excerpt
Both Feet on the Ground: An Autobiography
Murdering the Flowerbeds
'Mrs Beckham? Can David come and have a
game in the park?'
I'm sure Mum could dig it out of the pile: that first video of me in action. There I am, David Robert Joseph Beckham, aged three, wearing the new Manchester United uniform Dad had bought me for Christmas, playing soccer in the front room of our house in Chingford. Twenty-five years on, and Victoria could have filmed me having a kickabout this morning with Brooklyn before I left for training. For all that so much has happened during my life -- and the shirt I'm wearing now is a different color -- some things haven't really changed at all.
As a father watching my own sons growing up, I get an idea of what I must have been like as a boy; and reminders, as well, of what Dad was like with me. As soon as I could walk, he made sure I had a ball to kick. Maybe I didn't even wait for a ball. I remember when Brooklyn had only just got the hang of standing up. We were messing around together one afternoon after training. For some reason there was a tin of baked beans on the floor of the kitchen and, before I realized it, he'd taken a couple of unsteady steps towards it and kicked the thing as hard as you like. Frightening really: you could fracture a metatarsal doing that. Even as I was hugging him, I couldn't help laughing. That must have been me.
It's just there, wired into the genes. Look at Brooklyn: he always wants to be playing soccer, running, kicking, diving about. And he's already listening, like he's ready to learn. By the time he was three and a half, if I rolled the ball to him and told him to stop it, he'd trap it by putting his foot on it. Then he'd take a step back and line himself up before kicking it back to me. He's also got a great sense of balance. We were in New York when Brooklyn was about two and a half, and I remember us coming out of a restaurant and walking down some steps. He was standing, facing up towards Victoria and I, his toes on one step and his heels rocking back over the next. This guy must have been watching from inside the restaurant, because suddenly he came running out and asked us how old our son was. When I told him, he explained he was a child psychologist and that for Brooklyn to be able to balance himself over the step like that was amazing for a boy of his age.
It's a little too early to tell with my younger boy, Romeo, but Brooklyn has got a real confidence that comes from his energy, his strength, and his sense of coordination. He's been whizzing around on two-wheeled scooters -- I mean flying -- for years already. He's got a belief in himself, physically, that I know I had as well. When I was a boy, I only ever felt really sure of myself when I was playing soccer. In fact I'd still say that about me now, although Victoria has given me confidence in myself in all sorts of other ways. I know she'll do the same for Brooklyn and Romeo too.
For all that father and son have in common, Brooklyn and I are very different. By the time I was his age, I was already telling anyone who would listen: 'I'm going to play soccer for Manchester United. 'He says he wants to be a soccer player like Daddy, but United? We haven't heard that out of him yet. Brooklyn's a really strong, well-built boy. Me, though, I was always skinny. However much I ate it never made any difference while I was growing up. When I was playing soccer, I must have seemed even smaller because, if I wasn't with my dad and his mates, I was over at Chase Lane Park, just round the corner from the house, playing with boys twice my age. I don't know if it was because I was good or because they could kick me up in the air and I'd come back for more, but they always turned up on the doorstep after school:
'Mrs Beckham? Can David come and have a game in the park?'
I spent a lot of time in Chase Lane Park. If I wasn't there with the bigger boys like Alan Smith, who lived two doors away on our road, I'd be there with my dad. We'd started by kicking a ball about in the back garden but I was murdering the flowerbeds so, after he got in from his job as a heating engineer, we'd go to the park together and just practice and practice for hours on end. All the strengths in my game are the ones Dad taught me in the park twenty years ago: we'd work on touch and striking the ball properly until it was too dark to see. He'd kick the ball up in the air as high as he could and get me to control it. Then it would be kicking it with each foot, making sure I was doing it right. It was great, even if he did drive me mad sometimes. 'Why can't you just go in goal and let me take shots at you?' I'd be thinking. I suppose you could say he was pushing me along. You'd also have to say, though, that it was all I wanted to do and I was lucky Dad was so willing to do it with me.
My dad, Ted, played himself for a local team called King fisher in the Forest and District League ...Beckham
Both Feet on the Ground: An Autobiography. Copyright © by David Beckham. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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David Beckham, who currently plays for Real Madrid, is the soccer world's biggest star.
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