Belfast Telegraph

Why those who scoff at Beck’s injury are heels

By Jane Graham

I’ve always had a soft spot for David Beckham. It’s impressive — and incredibly rare — that someone so famous, surrounded by sycophants and cynics equally, should manage to remain a decent, generous-spirited and self-effacing human being.

His affable response — genuine guffaws and blushes — to James Corden’s ribbing of him in past and present Sports Relief sketches particularly warmed me to him, as did his undisguised emotion at the welcome he received on his recent return to Old Trafford.

Unlike Tiger or Ashley, there’s nothing cold or calculated about the most talked-about British sportsman of his generation.

So I felt sad for Beckham when his World Cup dream went up in smoke this week, and was deeply irritated by the frosty football fans who weighed the Achilles-bust up entirely in terms of how it would affect England’s chances, scoffing at the soft idea that they might feel sorry for Beckham.

Even some BBC commentators — including one Beckham-hating local lad — were quick to dismiss such sentiment as unnecessary mawkishness. Some blokes just aren’t big enough to love a bigger man.

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