Well, welcome to Beckham's world everyone, and what a world it
is. Insightful, exciting, thoughtful, provocative, moving - all
words you should be shot for using within a mile of this book. Apparently,
this edition contains "sensational new material". Exactly where
is a mystery, unless the fact that Victoria will "often make a lasagna
or something" when entertaining, or the revelation that he's never
seen Taxi Driver qualify as sensational.
Now, don't get me wrong, I wanted this book to somehow dispel the
common Beckham image; to maybe prove that there's more to him than
the empty headed caricature that he's usually portrayed as. I really
did, but with My World he doesn't do himself any favours.
Here we have an autobiography (and I think we safely say there was
no ghost-writer involved) of which over half of the 200-odd pages
are photographs - admittedly good action shots; Beckham in numerous
crucifixion-style poses; personal favourite, Beckham deep in thought
up a tree " and, to be more than fair, not a great deal else. Everything
in his life so far is given the Beckham literary treatment - skirted
over and mentioned as if in passing.
Now, and I'm sure others will agree with me here, if I read an autobiography
I want to read at least the odd interesting thing. I want anecdotes,
I want behind-the-scenes insight, I want information, but we get
none of this. Even the sections on the finest moments of his playing
career so far never fail to utterly disappoint. His goal against
Colombia at France 98, his first for England, is singled out as
being special because it fulfilled a boyhood dream that we all have
- scoring in the World Cup finals. His description of this amazing,
life-affirming moment is, "I just felt right for that one and it
curved and dropped in." And…erm…that's about it really.
What can you say? It's an experience I know I, for one, will never
have and can't even come close to imagining, so wouldn't mind, you
know, maybe a bit of insight into how it felt to fulfill a dream
that millions have. For me, that's the point of reading this kind
of book. I would love to know how it feels to be in that position
and the nearest I will ever get to it is reading someone else describing
it as best they can. Unfortunately you're left feeling that this
is the best he can do. Where's the emotion, the excitement, the…well...anything
Everything else is skimmed over in a similar manner, from his childhood
(played football a lot; didn't do too well at school; had a friend)
through his career to date with Man U and England (it happened;
he scored some goals) to his private life (met someone; got married;
had a kid). "And?" and "So what?" were the
recurring thoughts at the front of my mind when reading it.
I'm sure if you're a big Beckham fan there'll be something in here
for you, especially if you're one of the hordes of his fanciers
or 6 years old, but the only saving grace for me was how short it
is. So, to sum up in Beckham' s own formidable prose style - I read
Beckham's book. It wasn't very good.
The Beckham Experiment charts Goldenballs' US adventure
from its stirrings in 2006 to his loan move to AC Milan in the winter
of 2008. Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl writes skillfully
and provides a telling insight into the misadventures of trying
to run a football club on purely commercial, or more accurately
The sniping from across the Atlantic had a point: LA Galaxy was
commandeered by media types with no feel for the game but who could
waive enough loot in the face of a league desperate for acceptance.
The hangers-on of 19 Entertainment ended up trying to run a football
club for the benefit of one player and met their Waterloo when the
team suffered and the star man upped sticks. Elusive former cabbie
turned Beckham-confidant Terry Byrne, whom Wahl failed to nail down,
emerges as the key to the farrago. Byrne's Chelsea connections were
key to the misguided hiring of Ruud Gullit, whose personality and
lack of preparation meant he lasted only nine months.
While the PR events were stage-managed to perfection, the meat and
drink of the club were neglected so much that the Galaxy, Beckham
included, were reduced to dining on fried chicken in cheap hotels,
while office staff filled in for the reserves on one occasion. Gasp
if you did not already know Becks, who lives in Hollywood luxury
and rakes in around $30 million a year, plays alongside guys who
share flats and earn only $13,000 per annum.
We learn far less about Beckham than we do about his colleagues,
understandably since his media appearances undergo Pravda-esque
vetting, but it is clear he is a quiet and unremarkable personality
who soon realised he had erred in coming to America. Wahl scores
highly by providing hitherto missing information and interviews
which fill in the background to this global media event.
No soccer book has ever had so much publicity in the US, although
its timing remains unsatisfactory, released just before Beckham's
run-ins with beered-up fans made headline news. An updated edition
is required when the Beckham Experiment is finally over, but for
an in-depth low-down on what has happened thus far, this is the
From the moment you open the book and read the first chapter, you
know how it ends. Or do you? Written back in 1998, the book tells
the story of David Beckham to that point in his relatively young
life, a life that has seen success after success. There have been
lows also, and this book is a genuinely interesting insight into
David Beckham's meteoric rise from gifted schoolboy, into one of
the most recognised and photographed men in the world.
From pictures of him as a young lad lined up next to his teammates
after winning the Fyfield five-a-side football tournament; playing
for Manchester United in the Champions League; scoring for England
in the 1998 World Cup in France; relaxing in his spare time with
his wife Victoria, to appearing at a Versace fashion show in Milan,
you realise when reading this book just what an amazing life David
Beckham has had.
He talks openly at the sense of pride he feels when he thinks about
all his achievements: from setting the all time record points score
at the Bobby Charlton Soccer Coaching School, to making his debut
for both the Manchester United first team as well as his national
side. He comes across as a very humble man who is simply, and justifiably,
thrilled with his lot in life-and of course at what he has achieved.
You sense the passion he has for the game, and the genuine joy he
feels when his boyhood team, Manchester United, attain success with
him in the side, and the pride that comes with pulling on his England
jersey. This is not just his own pride, but the pride he knows his
family and friends feel for him. However it must also be said that
the book lacks something in its writing. There is nothing intellectual
in what is written or said, and you occasionally get the feeling
that you are simply reading just another life story without becoming
emotionally involved. Even the disappointment at being sent off
in the 1998 World Cup in France lacks expression in the telling
of the tale. Published in 1998 there is nothing of Manchester United's
famous treble winning campaign, his appointment as England captain,
his infamous bust-ups with his long-time manager and mentor, Sir
Alex Ferguson, or of course of his multi-million dollar transfer
to the mighty Real Madrid. David Beckham: My Story is definitely
worth reading, but be aware that, like his career, the book has
its high points .. and its low.
The prospect of another hagiography of Goldenballs would sink the
hearts of all but the starry-eyed teenager, but this one is different.
What makes this worth reading is the fact that Becks’ celebrity
circus has touched down in Spain, a country a world away from England,
and specifically at Real Madrid, a galaxy away from Manchester United.
In fact, those of us jaded by the prospect of more Beckhamology
will be pleasantly surprised by the fact Jimmy Burns largely ignores
Few are better qualified to write this tale than Burns. The author
is half Spanish, grew up in Madrid and has published a guide to
Spanish literature as well as working for the FT, BBC & The
Economist amongst others. His two football works, ‘Barça
" A People’s Passion’ and ‘Hand
of God - The Life of Diego Maradona’ were top-drawer football
texts and not Harry Harris-style sycophantic potboilers. The book
weaves between Beckham’s celebrity and Spain’s story
of Franco, Catalonia, corridas, cojones and futebol.
Beckham comes across as a tool for Real, a man of little intrinsic
substance who will ultimately not amount to much. We learn little
here we do not already know about Goldenballs and there is more
evidence that the end of his Real days will come to pass thanks
to the increasingly destructive provincial mindset and xenophobic
tantrums of his far from ‘posh’ wife Victoria.
Question: what do penguins, department store Marks and Spencer,
Beauty and the Beast, roman numerals, artificial legs, Albania,
the NSPCC and the LA Lakers have in common?
Answer: They are all answers in the "So You Think You Know
David Beckham " The Unofficial Quiz Book".
At first glance, the book seems like it would serve well as something
to stuff under that wonky table leg. "What is the first name
of David's wife?" and "What sort of flower does David
send Victoria when they are apart?" and "David's first
car was a Ford Escort, a Vauxhall Cavalier, a Lotus Espirit (sic)
or a VW Beetle?"
Do we care? Let me think for a moment. No we don't.
But then we start trying to answer the football-related questions.
"Which England manager was the first to pick him for England?"
I know I should know the answer to this, but who was it? How about
this one: "What is the lowest division Manchester United have
played in?" or "Before the 1990s, when was the last time
Manchester United won the English league championship?" Hmm.
"At which English league ground was the England v Mexico game
of 2001 played?" Erm.
Already outdated, the book is "Man U-centric" and has
Beckham as a player in that team as can be seen from some of the
questions above - even though it was published in 2003. The publishers
must have cursed their luck when "David" was transferred
to Real Madrid, but still I bet quite a lot of kids and pub quiz
aficionados were happy to find this book in their Christmas stocking.
Dad Ted cashes in on his son's fame or a devoted father charts
the tale of his kid's rise from park football to the Bernebeu? Ted,
a gas engineer, still needs to pay the bills after a messy divorce
from David's mum Sandra so who can blame him. There are 300 colour
photos from the Beckham family albums to drool over. David and Posh
are supposedly none too pleased.
If a 265-page hagiography of David Beckham is missing from your
life, then you are just a click away from fulfilling that vital
need. There's Only One David Beckham consists of choice vignettes
from El David's time to date on the planet earth, hundreds upon
hundreds of fawning quotes, and many black-and-white photos (and
some color) that feature nearly every hairstyle of a "sports
and fashion icon."
From his humble beginnings in East London to his rise to the top
of the world's most popular game, from his marriage to a pop star
to the birth of his son Brooklyn, the sending off against Argentina
to his many brilliant goals - it's all there.
Choice quotes include: "He epitomises all that's great about
being British" (Piers Morgan, The Daily Mirror), "Basically
he's got a gift from God…" (boxer Prince Naseem Hamed),
"I'm in love with David Beckham" (straight actor James
Nesbitt), "David Beckham is my ultimate hero" (rock
star Usher), and hundreds more. And to top it all off, according
to the authors: "The man who has everything is also a genuinely
nice guy. Critics take note." Readers take note: you can't
live without it or Him.
Like Beckham's first year in Spain, El Becks is a mixed effort.
Written by ex-English teacher and Madrid resident Alex Leith the
book details "Beykan's'" first season in the white of
Real Madrid. There's the initial honeymoon period as the demanding
Real Madrid fans take Beckham to their hearts for his unstinting
efforts for the team and then the disappointment and resentment
as Madrid lose form and rumours of Beckham's personal life hit the
White Angels looks at how David Beckham’s transfer
from Manchester United to Real Madrid took place and the machinations
and intrigue behind the deal. The book details Beckham’s first
year at Real, and how he fared on the pitch itself alongside the
likes of Figo, Zidane, Carlos, Raul and Ronaldo.
An insightful text for understanding the business of global celebrity,
the book provides a detailed look into the Beckham marketing phenomenon
- a fascinating glimpse of how brand consultants' minds work.
In this programme, which was filmed in Madrid, David shares his
knowledge, skills and experience. His technique is dissected using
the ultimate in technology and the programme is broken down into
easy-to-use sections - control, space-making skills, passing and
working for space, turning skills and forward play, crossing, closing
down and defending, finishing and free kicks.
The author, Gaynor Morgan, daughter of former Manchester United
winger Willie Morgan claims an amorous Becks pursued her while he
was still in the red of his former team. The book also compares
the lives of the two Manchester United number sevens of different