David Beckham opens up on the ‘tough’ times he and his family faced after his infamous red card at France 98… revealing he suffered abuse for YEARS and couldn’t even leave the house
- David Beckham shares pain of the backlash he suffered following France 98
- Beckham was famously sent off in England’s quarter-final against Argentina
- England legend says he couldn’t go out because of the abuse he would receive
David Beckham has spoke of the impact his infamous red card at the 1998 World Cup had on him and his family.
The England legend was sent off in England’s quarter-final clash with Argentina after kicking out at Diego Simeone following a tackle by the midfielder on the young Three Lions star.
The incident happened right in front of referee Kim Milton and it left the Danish official with no option but to show Beckham the red card, and England went on to exit the tournament after a penalty shootout defeat.
Beckham suffered a huge backlash on his return home and was vilified by the media, while an effigy of him was hung from a London pub and he would go on to face a barrage of abuse at every away game the following season.
Speaking at a synagogue in London for the Lira Winston Fellowships, Beckham told The Athletic about the testing times he suffered as a result of the red card.
David Beckham has spoken on the abuse he suffered following the red card at France 98
Beckham was famously shown red following his kick at Argentina midfielder Diego Simeone
‘It was tough, but it was tougher for my family than me,’ said the 48-year-old.
‘I’m trying not to get emotional, but that was what worried me more than anything else.
‘I remember my granddad calling me and saying, ‘David, I’ve got people knocking on the door saying you’ve let the whole country down and let your whole family down, what shall I say?
‘I couldn’t drive around London. I couldn’t walk around London. I couldn’t go to restaurants. I couldn’t go to bars. Even my friends didn’t want to go out with me.
‘They knew I would get abused. If I stopped at traffic lights, people would hit, or spit at, my car.
‘Those kinds of things were happening to me, daily, for quite a few years.’
Beckham talked about how those kind of reactions wouldn’t happen in today’s world as there is a better understanding of mental health issues.
Yet, he admits that he only recently came across Glenn Hoddle’s reaction to the 25-year-old incident, where the then-England boss blamed Beckham for his side’s exit from the World Cup.
Glenn Hoddle publicly blamed Beckham for his England’s side exit from the tournament
‘I only heard what Glenn said recently,’ said Beckham.
‘I was surprised, but people say things in the heat of the moment and everybody was hurting at that point.’
What the 115-capped icon does remember about that night however, is the one man who did speak up for him after the game, and showed Beckham what it was like to be a true leader.
‘There was one leader in that dressing room,’ he added.
‘I was obviously upset. Tony Adams put his arm around me and said, ‘Son, don’t worry about it. You made a mistake, move on’. He was unbelievable with me, and I will never forget that moment.’