Ev­ery­thing you want to know about Becks

Beck­ham 9.20pm, ABC

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Greg Cal­laghan

IT was the ul­ti­mate locker- room spat. Hot- tem­pered Alex Fer­gu­son, head hon­cho of Manch­ester United, stormed into the MU chang­ing room, stum­bling across a stray foot­ball boot that he kicked in the di­rec­tion of his star player, David Beck­ham, who was sit­ting on a bench, gut­ted that his team had just gone down 2- 0 to arch ri­val Arse­nal. Fer­gu­son blamed the loss, in part, on Beck­ham’s jet- set dis­trac­tions, his mar­riage to Posh Spice and the con­stant fur­nace of tabloid at­ten­tion. No player — met­ro­sex­ual pin- up or not — should be big­ger than the club, he be­lieved.

Beck­ham was left bleed­ing from a cut above his right eye that re­quired stitches. The bond be­tween men­tor and men­tored was never to be the same again. As so of­ten hap­pens in th­ese re­la­tion­ships, the star stu­dent had be­come too big for his britches. A few months later, Beck­ham shifted to Spain to play for Real Madrid.

The fly­ing foot­ball boot be­tween Fer­gu­son and Beck­ham — be­tween old- school, no- frills foot­baller turned man­ager and global sports celebrity — was richly sym­bolic. As we see in tonight’s show, Beck­ham is a su­per­nova sur­rounded by a force- field of per­sonal as­sis­tants, ad­vis­ers and hang­ers- on who help him to man­age a money- spin­ning bo­nanza of me­dia ap­pear­ances, prod­uct en­dorse­ments and daz­zling red- car­pet mo­ments. This doc­u­men­tary, which of­fers some rare footage of Beck­ham’s child­hood and youth, shows how, even as a 13- year- old, his fancy foot­work at­tracted the at­ten­tion of Pre­mier League scouts.

The me­dia could not have drummed up a more fas­ci­nat­ing phe­nom­e­non. How could you in­vent a man who, straight- faced, de­scribes meet­ing his fu­ture part­ner in the fol­low­ing way: ‘‘ My wife picked me out of a soc­cer sticker book; I chose her off the telly . . . it felt straight away like we’d al­ways been meant to be to­gether.’’ How to ac­count for a sports hero who paints his fin­ger­nails, poses for gay mag­a­zines and changes his hair style and de­signer clothes more of­ten than he scores penal­ties; and who, de­spite be­ing li­onised as a met­ro­sex­ual idol, is voted the man­li­est sports star on the planet? Who, de­spite be­ing as cun­ning as a fox, has a knack of ap­pear­ing sweet and self- ef­fac­ing? Who, in the twi­light of his ca­reer, has be­come an in­ter­na­tional one- man brand?

Not that Becks is a com­plete sports or mar­ket­ing orig­i­nal, how­ever. In some re­spects he is merely fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of sport­ing greats such as Fred Perry and Jean- Rene La­coste, who trans­ferred their names into global cloth­ing brands 50 years ago. But if the Becks phe­nom­e­non proves any­thing, it’s don’t mess with a met­ro­sex­ual.

In­ter­na­tional brand: Met­ro­sex­ual foot­baller David Beck­ham

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.