David Beckham gave fans a glimpse into his family album as he reflected on his life and career in his new docuseries.
The former footballer, 48, spoke at length about the problems he faced on the pitch and meeting his wife Victoria in the four-part Netflix show BECKHAM.
Illustrating the program was a series of adorable throwback photos of David honing his football skills as a child, as well as a series of shots of Victoria.
Although the 49-year-old designer doesn’t smile much anymore, she would no doubt struggle not to laugh at some of the expressions she pulled off during the Spice Girls’ heyday.
It wasn’t all lighthearted, however, as elsewhere in the documentary David choked back tears as he discussed his mental health struggles.
In the Beckham family album: David took fans on a fun trip down memory lane with throwback snaps in his new Netflix docuseries BECKHAM (pictured with son Brooklyn)
Boost your camera roll! While Victoria is known to no longer smile, she would no doubt struggle not to laugh at some of the expressions she used during the Spice Girls’ heyday.
It was meant to be: David started playing football as a young child and there is plenty of evidence that he showed his skills as a little one
The sportsman came into the spotlight at the age of 17 as Manchester United’s new midfielder and quickly earned the reputation as football’s golden boy and one of the most talented players of his generation.
Yet his career threatened to be derailed when he was blamed for England’s exit from the 1998 World Cup after lashing out at Diego Simeone, sparking a prolonged campaign of hatred and abuse from fans.
Reflecting on the turbulent period David faced at the age of 23, the athlete admitted he was a ‘mess’ and could no longer eat or sleep. His wife Victoria revealed that he suffered from clinical depression and that the experience ‘broke’ him. .
David recalled feeling ‘very vulnerable and alone’ when he landed back in Britain in front of hordes of jeering onlookers and negative press, with his father Ted admitting David was ‘distraught’ when he met him and saying the young sports star ‘fell into my arms’. and said, ‘I’ve let everyone down.'”
The night before the World Cup match, David had learned that Victoria was pregnant with their first child and after arriving in England to see his parents, he wasted no time flying to New York to spend time with his fiancée-to-be – who was on tour through the States with The Spice Girls.
Victoria confessed: “I remember not really understanding how serious it was because you know I never really liked football.
“When he came to me in America, he felt like he let himself down, he let his teammates down, he let his country down, he let the fans down, I – he felt that he let everyone down.
‘But when he was with us, Spice Girls, there was protection, people couldn’t get to us, we could put a wimp around ourselves.
‘I don’t think either of us really realized what was going on in Britain. He turned that protection into an absolute massacre.”
Not so chic! Victoria also opened up her family album to share an adorable childhood photo
Spice Girls days: She was seen at Spice Girls rehearsals belting out lyrics
He got it from his mother: while David learned to play football from father David, his mother Sandra also became involved in sports with the children
Angelic: By his own admission, David didn’t do well at school, but he still gave it his all
Cute: David was always seen wearing a football uniform in his youth
Eye on the ball: his father took him to training every day
Sweet: He enjoyed being active outside with his beloved football
Family fun: David and his siblings Joanne and Lynne always played with their father
Cute: the family showed their sweet snapshots from the family album
David became emotional as he reflected on the reactions he received and confessed: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever talked about it because I can’t.
‘I find it difficult to talk about what I went through because it was so extreme. The whole country hated me.’
Speaking about the horrific abuse – which became so bad that he could no longer go to the toilet unattended for fear of being attacked on the way – David continued: ‘Wherever I went I was abused every day.
“To walk down the street and see people looking at you a certain way, spitting at you, calling you names, coming up to you and seeing things they said, it’s hard.
“I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I was a mess.”
David, who received death threats and had effigies made in his likeness, elaborated on the impact this had on his parents, Ted and Sandra, noting, “It brought a lot of attention that I would never wish on anyone, let alone my parents and I cannot forgive ourselves for that.
“That’s the hard part that happened then. I’m 47 years old now and I still piss myself off about it. Inside it killed me.”
As David’s teammate Phil Neville spoke out about the ‘inhumane’ way David was treated by the nation, Victoria commented: ‘He was really depressed, clinically depressed.
Baby joy: The couple were thrilled when they welcomed their first son Brooklyn at Portland Hospital in London on March 4, 1999, with David calling fatherhood ‘the most amazing thing’
In the wedding album: The couple gave fans a glimpse into never-before-seen footage
Bold look: The couple wore purple ensembles for their big day, while the guests wore black
In love: David was ‘hooked’ on Victoria when the pair first met in 1997 and they have been in love ever since
Football fun: Their first meeting took place when Victoria and her bandmate Mel C attended a Manchester United match and were invited onto the pitch
‘It hurt me so much. I still want to kill these people (for the way they treated him).”
Victoria also took aim at 1998 World Cup manager Glen Hoddle, seething: ‘He didn’t come out to protect David and how old was David, 23?
‘You’re a 23-year-old kid and Glen Hoddle was a man – well, I wouldn’t even call him a man, he was an older person – I mean the absolute hatred, public bullying…’
Fortunately, David was able to redeem himself when he faced Diego again in the 1999 Champions League quarter-final between Manchester United and Inter Milan.
BECKHAM is available to stream on Netflix.