Beckham explains how Fergie kept unruly kids in line at Man Utd

Sir Alex Ferguson Manchester United

Manchester United’s young players were forced to perform “a funny dance” in front of senior professionals as a punishment for stepping out of line, David Beckham has revealed.

The former England captain was asked about the current child sex abuse scandal in football during his appearance on BBC Radio Four’s Desert Island Discs.

“There was never anything at Manchester United and it is disgraceful what has gone on and there has to be something done about it,” he told presenter Kirsty Young.

“The closest part would have been certain professionals that if we had gone out of line they would have made us do a funny dance in the middle of the changing room in front of the professionals, in front of our heroes at the time.”

Beckham said it was humiliating, adding: “That was all it was, but that was just to teach us a lesson – there was never any wrong-doing.”

The 41-year-old signed for the Premier League club aged 16 and was part of the Class of ’92 which included Ryan Giggs, Gary and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes.

In a wide-ranging interview on the 75th anniversary edition of Desert Island Discs, which is being broadcast on Sunday at 11.15am, Beckham did not pick a single record from his wife Victoria’s Spice Girls discography.

The 41-year-old did however reveal a number of personal memories and stories, including:

:: His collection of football boots competes with Victoria’s shoe collection

:: The only praise he got from his father Ted was when he got his 100th cap for England

:: When he first started dating Victoria they would sit in his BMW in a Harvester car park to “just kiss” and “have time together”

:: When he was sold to Real Madrid he did not watch a Manchester United game for three years


Beckham, who is an ambassador for Unicef, said he keeps all his England caps at his house and his “precious” medals in a safe in a bank.

“I have so many pairs of boots, over a thousand pairs of boots. I keep them in storage. They are in boxes.”

Asked by Young if it competes with Victoria’s shoe collection he replied: “It does actually.”

Beckham said his mother and father had made many sacrifices over the years in order to achieve his dream of being a footballer. However getting praise from his father was rare.

He said: “I knew that my dad would always be proud of my achievements. The only time my dad turned round to me and said ‘you know what son, you have done really well’ was when I got my 100th cap for England.

“It makes me emotional. Everybody wants to make their parents proud.”


Beckham on family life

Beckham admitted it was difficult when he started dating the then Victoria Adams, given their celebrity status. He said her manager Simon Fuller wanted to keep the relationship quiet so the footballer used to drive to see his new girlfriend in his “amazing bright blue” BMW.

“We used to sit in a Harvester car park and we just used to kiss, of course, and spend time together,” he said.

The pair married in 1999 and for the wedding they wore purple outfits.

“That was bold,” said Beckham. “What was I thinking?”

The father-of-four stressed how important his family was to him and they have worked together “as a unit” through difficult periods and “mistakes over the years”.

He said: “Do we stay together because it’s a brand?. Of course not, we stay together because we love each other. We stay together because we have four amazing children.”


Beckham on Man Utd sale

David Beckham: Not worried about Manchester United's future

Beckham revealed he was “shocked and devastated” when he found out United were selling him to Real Madrid in 2003.

“I honestly did not watch Manchester United play for three years,” he said.

Beckham’s eight disc choices included ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye’ by Ella Fitzgerald, ‘I Am The Resurrection’ by the Stone Roses and ‘Si Tu Vois Ma Mere’ by Sidney Bechet.

His England caps were his luxury item and his book was the cookery book ‘On Fire’ by Francis Mallmann.