Beckham the ref made son Romeo cry
David Beckham has admitted he reduced his son Romeo to tears after giving a penalty against him while refereeing a children's match.
The former footballer, who had his own occasional run-ins with match officials during his playing career, had to step in during a recent training match.
And in an interview for ITV's Jonathan Ross Show to be broadcast tomorrow, Beckham said he had to penalise his own 11-year-old after he fouled an opponent.
He said: "I had to step in the ref one of their games and I kind of didn't really want to but all the dads were like, 'well, you know the rules.' So I took my coat off and I went out there and it was Romeo's game.
"First half went great, they were winning 3-1. Second half 4-1, 5-1 and then Romeo went to make a tackle in the penalty area, missed the ball and took the young kid down and I had to give a penalty.
"Fortunately, I shouldn't say fortunately, because they're 11-year-old kids, but fortunately they missed it. As we were running back... Romeo was jogging behind and he turned around to me and said, 'I can't believe you did that to me, dad.' And he was crying. It was kind of a lesson for him."
Beckham said that despite reports linking his children to clubs, they had not signed with any teams.
He said: "The unfortunate thing for the boys is, any time they go and have a kick about with the youth team at Chelsea or at Fulham, or even their Sunday league teams, people say 'They've signed for them.' Or 'They're going to be playing for them.'
"And that's quite a lot of pressure on them as young kids. And they're just training at the moment. They're enjoying themselves, they're not signed with anyone, they're just enjoying playing football."
Beckham disapproved after learning his three sons - Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz - had tried to teach their younger sister Harper a rude gag.
He told Ross: "The boys are trying to teach her stuff. Not all good stuff. She went into one of the rooms the other day and they're all giggling and whispering and I was like, 'What are you talking about?' And they said, 'We're teaching Harper a joke.'
"I've heard some of the boys' jokes over the last few months and it's not something I really want them teaching Harper. So I said, 'What joke is it?' And they said, 'It's the elephant joke.'
"And I said, 'You cannot teach your two-and-a-half-year-old little sister a joke like that.' Thankfully she doesn't know the whole joke and she wouldn't understand it."
Beckham also told how he turned into an emotional wreck as he battled through his final game earlier this year. He said he became overwhelmed 25 minutes from the end of the match as he captained Paris St Germain in May.
He said: "I didn't want to be that person that walks off, obviously there'd be a tear or two, but not the way I did. And I didn't think I'd do that, but I couldn't control it.
"I was short of breath, I really couldn't control it. I'd never really thought about it being my last ever game in professional football and, like I said, with 25 minutes to go I started to think about me as a youth team player at Manchester United, coming through the ranks, being at Real Madrid.
"And I think that's what kind of got me and I couldn't get myself out of that, and that's when it really hit me," Beckham added.
:: The interview will be screened on The Jonathan Ross Show on ITV at 10.05pm on Saturday.