David Beckham's mum was once 'offered outside' by a West Ham footie yob.
Golden Balls' mother Sandra was the target for trolls when she tried to watch her son play at Upton Park following the 1998 World Cup. It was David's first game back for Manchester United following his controversial red card against Argentina, which turned him into public enemy number one as England were subsequently dumped out of the competition.
Effigies were hung outside pubs in the UK and fans even spat at Beckham as he walked down the streets – but nothing could have prepared him for the intensity of Upton Park on his first game back. The boos were deafening and chants were intense – and Becks' own family were soon to be targeted.
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"It was awful," Sandra recalls in the new Netflix documentary on his superstar career. "I was sitting there and a woman had her newspaper, showing the picture of him hanging.
"I was getting angry with the way they were shouting about him. There was one fan who asked me to go outside. Like ‘come on then, outside’! It is not nice as a parent to see that happening. It makes me want to cry now."
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Beckham insists that the abuse he received changed his life forever, but only now has he realised the true impact it was having on his closest family. "It brought a lot of attention that I would never wish on my parents and I can never forgive myself for that," he said.
"That is the tough part of what was happening then. I was the one who made the mistake. It is only now that I am 47 years old, it is now that I beat myself up about it."
Such was the hatred of Becks, his friends would not even trust him out and about on his own in the aftermath of the red card – even having to accompany him to the toilet of restaurants in fear of an attack. Beckham's best friend, David Gardner, said: "He would walk down the street and people would be spitting at him. People would barge into him, shout f***ing this, f*** that.
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"We had to take turns in taking him to the toilet. You would have to follow him to the toilet because you couldn’t leave him alone. We probably broke the world record for the fastest walk between bars at times.
"You get into the car and you get to traffic lights. That’s the worst place to be, in traffic. People would get out of their cars, wind windows down, banging on the window. It was crazy. But he never reacted, not once."
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