Beckham: Both Feet on the Ground: An Autobiography

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Oct 13, 2009 - Sports & Recreation - 464 pages
3 Reviews

In England, where he spent ten seasons leading his storied club Manchester United and his nation to soccer glory, he is so wildly popular that his countrymen voted him the face they'd most want to see imprinted on their money. (Winston Churchill finished second.) In Japan, where he is worshiped as much for his headline-making fashion trends as for his ability to bend a ball around a wall of defenders, women styled their bikini waxes after the blond mohawk he sported during the 2002 World Cup. And in Spain, within days of his $41 million trade to Real Madrid, his new team received two million requests to buy his number 23 jersey. The legend of David Beckham -- soccer god, global sex symbol, style icon -- has been celebrated around the world, arguably more than Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan combined. Now, with the publication of his long-awaited autobiography, the man who inspired the surprise hit movie Bend It Like Beckham is set to conquer the last remaining outpost where soccer is not a national religion: the United States.

Beckham is a classic rags-to-riches saga: a boy, David, is born to a poor East End London family. He develops prodigious soccer skills, and his parents nurture him until he becomes one of the most gifted athletes of his generation. He grows up to marry Victoria -- a Spice Girl, "Posh" -- and enters a celebrity whirlwind of Princess Diana -- esque proportions. Together, the Beckhams are Britain's new royal couple -- their 240-acre estate outside of London is known as Beckingham Palace -- and their presence at parties or charity events guarantees endless tabloid stories and photos as well as adoring mobs that must be restrained by police barricades. Their life is as much a study in managing fame as it is in sports and pop phenomena.

In Beckham he talks candidly about the pressures of celebrity -- his wife and sons were the targets of a 2002 kidnapping plot; how he balances his roles as a devoted husband and besotted father with his globetrotting existence as an international soccer player; the behind-the-scenes stories of his most memorable career moments, such as the penalty kick against archrival Argentina in the World Cup that redeemed him to a nation who blamed him for their failure in the previous World Cup; the controversy surrounding his move to Real Madrid and the falling out with the man who shaped his career, Manchester United's famously combative manager Sir Alex Ferguson; and, finally, his love of America -- his first son was conceived in and named Brooklyn -- where, like the great Pelé, David can imagine playing out his final seasons.

So much has been written about David Beckham that it's easy to think we know everything about the world's most famous athlete, but only Beckham himself can set the record straight on his beliefs, his dreams, his loves, his fears, and, above all, his sense of who he is. Beckham is an intimate account of an extraordinary life, a life in which, against all odds, he has managed to keep both feet on the ground.


What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - soccergrl - Borders

Im not done reading this book yet, but so far it is very interesting. If you want to know about Beckham this is definatley the book you want to read!!! Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This book really gives the reader a flavour of what the life of David Beckham is really like. It is very interesting for the reader to learn what makes Beckham tick and to see the side of Beckham that is not portrayed in the media. It may surprise many readers to learn what a down to earth guy Beckham really is. As an avid Manchester United fan I was very keen to learn Beckham's thoughts and opinions on his team mates, manager and the club in general. I was not disappointed in this regard with Beckham offering a detailed insight into life at Old Trafford and charting his rise to football and celebrity superstardom. 


The Back Garden August 2004
Murdering the Flowerbeds
The Man in the Brown Sierra
Home from Home
DB on the Tarmac
The One with the Legs
Dont Cry for Me
Thanks for Standing By Me
My Foot in It
Beckham pen
Bubble Beckham
About Loyalty
United Born and Bred
Hala Madrid
Futbol La Vida
Its Christmas

The Germans

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 286 - I was far too nervous to try to be clever," he said. David simply slammed the ball into the middle of the net, past the surprised goalkeeper. He had finally fully redeemed himself. "The nerves, the pressure, and the four years of memories just fell away," he later wrote. "In those few seconds after the ball settled in the back of Argentina's net, I could see flashbulbs fire off around the ground. As each little explosion died against the blur and color of the stands, it took something that had happened,...
Page 42 - You may have signed for Man United, but you haven't done anything yet," Ted told his son. "When you've played for the first team, then we can talk about you having achieved something. Until then, don't start thinking you've made it.
Page 8 - ... in five-a-side pickup matches at a sports and social club called Wadham Lodge. The fact that his dad rarely protected him on the field served him well in the long run. David learned to watch out for himself. '•'•[Dad] warned me that I had to be prepared to get a bit roughed up now and again. If he'd been running around telling people not to tackle me all evening, it would have been pointless me being there in the first placed —DAVID BECKHAM 6 He also started practicing free kicks at Wadham...
Page 146 - ... to a new five-year contract, and Ferguson made it clear that the club stood behind him. "We will be looking after the player and we will protect him, because that is the way Manchester United behave," he said. David was grateful for the way that the boss made him feel like he was part of a family. "Knowing he was behind me really helped me get through that summer in 1998, and the early part of the season that followed,
Page 13 - Rovers always went about things the nght way. With so many boys' sides, you notice the most talented players. They make a big fuss of the individuals in the team. That wasn't allowed with Ridgeway: any showing off and you'd be brought back down.
Page 165 - ... the near post side. It was the goal of a lifetime in one of the most exciting games of the year. After the final whistle blew, Manchester United supporters rushed onto the field and hoisted some players, including David, onto their shoulders. David felt helpless, but he did manage to make a request: "While you've got me up here on your shoulders, could we try and head over towards where the dressing rooms are?
Page 369 - ... the near post. The stunning quality of both goals and the attacking freedom Real Madrid's players enjoyed left David in awe. "When they had the ball, they were making runs all over the place," he later wrote. "It might have looked like we were standing back, watching them play. I think the truth was they were getting so many players involved every time they came forward that we found ourselves defending one man against three all over the field.
Page 78 - ... Sunday. The owners of the clubs were reluctant to televise live matches because they thought that fans would lose interest in attending matches in person. David felt that the goal celebration that followed was a fitting way to end such an improbable season. "I think the whole team got to Eric [Cantona] inside a split second and it seemed like he lifted the lot of us off the ground and carried us back to the halfway line. It was the story of the whole fantastic season, right there.

About the author (2009)

David Beckham, who currently plays for Real Madrid, is the soccer world’s biggest star.

Tom Watt is an English actor, writer, and broadcaster. Television, film, and stage credits include EastEnders, Patriot Games, and Fever Pitch. Tom has broadcast about soccer extensively in the U.K. and the U.S. He co-produced the innovative children's sports series Rookies for Channel Four television and created the successful Row Z for BBC Choice TV. After presenting sports shows over the past ten years for BBC and independent radio and television stations, he is currently the lead presenter for BBC London's soccer coverage and hosts weekly programs for Arsenal's club TV channel.

As well as writing about soccer for every major U.K. newspaper, Tom is the author of several books about the game: The End, a groundbreaking oral history of Arsenal FC; A Passion for the Game, ninety firsthand accounts of life behind the scenes in English football; The Greatest Stage, the official history of Wembley Stadium; and, most recently, My Side, the bestselling autobiography of David Beckham. Tom also produces schoolbooks built around soccer, the latest of which, a twelve-book series called The Jags, was published earlier this year.

Bibliographic information