His talent was obvious at an early age, but talent alone is not enough, because the world is full of talented people who didn't become anything. But his father would make sure David's talent wasn't wasted, as he was doing a lot of practicing with his son, especially passing and crossing the ball - the very trademark of Beckham today: the pinpoint accurate crosses.
The Dream Comes True
Naturally, Beckham's talent didn't go unnoticed for long and he was invited to have trials with Leyton Orient and Tottenham Hotspur's School of Excellence, but it was Manchester United that was the lucky winner in securing the signing of David Beckham as a trainee in 1991. Well, actually it wasn't because of luck, because David had always wanted to be a United player. And it wasn't just David who wanted United; United also wanted David; not least Alex Ferguson himself, who thought David was a special talent.
And actually, Alex Ferguson was the main reason for David choosing Manchester United instead of Tottenham, because when David came to United, the first thing that happened was that Alex Ferguson came over to him and said "hello David".
That made a big impression on David, that the manager himself came to welcome him and showed his interest in the boy. That didn't happen at the other clubs, where he was just meeting representatives for the junior department. That made the decision easy for David Beckham: "I want to play for Manchester United!" he decided.
So, aged 16, David Beckham moved to Manchester, where he was part of Manchester United's famous youth team which won the FA Youth Cup in 1992. Other noticeable players in that youth team were Ryan Giggs, Garry and Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Lee Sharpe; a whole bunch of very talented players that would go on to win the Premier League not long after. But although Beckham was reckoned as maybe the most gifted of those youngsters, he didn't seem to develop as quickly as some of the other players of that team.
But nobody really doubted that Beckham would make it in to United's first team sooner or later. And Beckham himself knew fully well that in order to make it as a professional soccer player, you'll have to work hard. And that is what David has never been afraid to do: working.
In order to toughen him up a bit and give him more experience, Beckham was loaned out to Preston North End in division 3 for a few weeks in March 1995 where he played 5 matches and scored 2 goals.
He returned to Manchester United in April, and now Alex Ferguson thought David Beckam was ready for the Premier League. David made his Premier League debut in the match against Leeds on April 2, 1995. The match ended in a 0-0 draw. He also played in a few of the remaining matches that season.
But Beckham had played for the senior team before that though, just not in the Premier League. He was only 17 when he debuted for the senior team on September 23, 1992 in a league cup match away to Brighton & Howe Albion, where he came on for Andrei Kanchelskis late in the second half.
In January of 1993 David Beckham signed as a professional for Manchester United.
The first time Beckham was in the starting lineup for the senior team was on September 21, 1994. This was in a league cup match against Port Vale.
In the mid-nineties, English teams were not allowed to use too many players in the Champions League, which were not English. This forced Alex Ferguson to use many young and inexperienced players. Among those was David Beckham. And he repaid the trust placed in him, by scoring a goal in the 4-0 victory over Galatassaray at Old Trafford on November 1994. This was Beckham's first goal for the senior team. Despite United's emphatic victory, they were knocked out of the competition because of bad results earlier in the competition.
Makes his Mark
It was in the 1995/96 season Beckham developed into a regular for Manchester United. Andrei Kanchelskis had played on United's right hand side, but he had now gone to Everton and this made room for David. The first game of the season was against Aston Villa. United were heavily beaten, 3-1. David came off the bench to play for the second half and he made his contribution by scoring United's only goal. Many of the players in United's team that day were those who had played in that famous youth team which won the FA Youth Cup in 1992.
After the game, former Liverpool player, Alan Hansen said those now so famous words: "You can't win anything with kids!"
Well, guess what? It was exactly what these kids did. Yes, at the end of the season, it was these kids that were on top of the table and were crowned Premier League Champions. And not only that, because they also won the F. A. Cup that same season. Beckham himself scored 8 goals during the season.
Hmm… you can't win anything with kids, eh? Poor Alan Hansen though, because I can't imagine how often he has been reminded of those not so well chosen words… :-)
The next season, 1996/1997, Beckham made sure that he meant business already in the first match of the season, when he scored against Wimbledon from the half way line. That goal was shown in television over and over again, and David Beckham was now a household name in England. Manchester United again won the Premier League that season.
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