SCOTCH, IN­TER­RUPTED

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SOC­CER LEG­END DAVID BECKHAM ON WHY A GOOD WHISKY IS WORTH THE WAIT

SOC­CER LEG­END DAVID BECKHAM HARDLY DRANK TILL HE RE­TIRED TWO YEARS AGO. BUT SOME THINGS ARE WORTH WAIT­ING FOR.

I DIDN’T EVER RE­ALLY EN­JOY a drink—at least not prop­erly—un­til af­ter I re­tired, in 2013. My ca­reer lasted 21 years, and I didn’t con­sume a lot of al­co­hol dur­ing that time. I couldn’t. Of course, there was the odd night, cel­e­brat­ing a win. But even that was a chal­lenge. One mem­o­rable ex­am­ple was in 1999, when Manch­ester United won the league cham­pi­onship. Typ­i­cally, you’d have a big cel­e­bra­tion af­ter­ward. We didn’t, be­cause we had to play six days later in the FA Cup fi­nal. We won that, but then we had to get ready for the cham­pi­onship fi­nal a week later. By the time we won the tre­ble, we were so ex­hausted we could hardly stand.

So re­ally, I had to wait quite a while to sa­vor a glass of whisky, but that just made it all the more en­joy­able. It was not long af­ter we launched Haig Club, a sin­gle grain I’m as­so­ci­ated with. I was up in Scot­land with my fam­ily and a few friends—just seven of us—in a nice, cozy lit­tle room in this lovely whisky bar. I was in a beau­ti­ful place with peo­ple that I loved, hav­ing a whisky I en­joy so much.

I had been so fo­cused over those two decades, I woke up all of a sud­den and thought, OK, what do I get to do now? I ac­tu­ally do get to go out to din­ner and have a glass of wine or a glass of whisky?

That’s not to say I’m sit­ting in a rocking chair. Last year I took a mo­tor­bike trip through the Ama­zon, and I’m work­ing on set­ting up an MLS ex­pan­sion club in Miami. But it’s so nice to have some time to re­lax and en­joy life with fam­ily and friends. —as told to oliver jones

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