Shropshire Star

Victoria Beckham says David was ‘clinically depressed’ after World Cup red card

Footballer David Beckham was the target of abuse after he received a red card and was sent off at a World Cup match against Argentina in 1998.

The Fashion Awards 2018 – London

Victoria Beckham has said the backlash David Beckham received after he was given a red card in the 1998 World Cup left him “clinically depressed”.

A new Netflix series titled Beckham is set for release on Wednesday and it takes a look into the former football star’s career with interviews from Posh and Becks and other familiar looking faces.

In episode two of the documentary series, Victoria, 49, and David, 48, discuss the abuse they received in the late 1990s after David was sent off during a game with Argentina.

GQ Men of the Year Awards 2019 – London
David Beckham arriving at the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2019 (Matt Crossick/PA)

Following the match, a pub hanged an effigy of the star outside its premises and during Manchester United’s first away game the following season, at West Ham, the team bus was pelted with stones and pint glasses.

Speaking about David’s reaction to his, Victoria said: “He was absolutely broken. He was in pieces.

“He was really depressed, absolutely clinically depressed.

“It pained me so much, I still want to kill these people.”

Discussing the abuse he received, David said: “I wish there was a pill you could take which could erase certain memories.

“I made a stupid mistake. It changed my life. (The questions when he came back) ‘how do you feel about letting your country down?’ and ‘you are a disgrace’.

“We were in America, just about to have our first baby, and I thought ‘we will be fine, in a day or two people will have forgotten’.

“I don’t think I have ever talked about it, just because I can’t. I find it hard to talk through what I went through because it was so extreme.

“Wherever I went, I got abused every single day.

“To walk down the street and to see people look at you in a certain way, spit at you, abuse you, come up to your face and say some of the things they said, that is difficult.

“I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping. I was a mess. I didn’t know what to do.

“The boss (Alex Ferguson) called me. He said ‘David, how are you doing?’ I think I got quite emotional. He said ‘how are you doing, son?’. I said ‘not great boss’. He said ‘OK, don’t worry about it, son’.

“That was the only thing I could control, once I was on the pitch, then I felt safe.

“It brought a lot of attention that I would never wish on anyone, let alone my parents, and I can’t forgive myself for that. That is the tough part of what happened, because I was the one that made the mistake.

“When I have gone through difficult moments, I was able to block it out, but inside it killed me.

“Any time I was kicked during that season, it was like the (opposition team) had got two goals.

The Fashion Awards 2018 – London
David and Victoria Beckham with their son Brooklyn attending the Fashion Awards in association with Swarovski held at the Royal Albert Hall in London (Ian West/PA)

“As horrible as it was to look up to Victoria in the stand (getting that abuse), it was the one thing which spurred me on.”

In the episode, Victoria spoke about how difficult it was to re-examine those memories and said: “I realise now why I found it so stressful doing these interviews with you (for Netflix) because I blocked a lot of it out, and I think David has as well, but now it is coming back to me – imagine having a baby and having death threats? David had to play with all this going on.”

The couple had their first child Brooklyn in March 1999 and are also parents to Romeo, Cruz and Harper.

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