The great David Beckham of Manchester United spoke candidly about a “very special” moment in his playing career when he happened to wear the same shirt number as one of his heroes.
Under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, Beckham began his journey to become a superstar at United and left a lasting legacy during his illustrious tenure at Old Trafford.
The 48-year-old Inter Miami co-owner and president captured six Premier League titles, a Champions League and two FA Cups before his United exit in 2003.
During his time at Old Trafford, Beckham was in scintillating form for the 1996-97 season and scored 12 times and registered 11 assists in 49 appearances for United.
The ex-United star admitted that the aforementioned campaign was “one of the best seasons that I had ever had,” with Beckham wearing the No 10 shirt at the time.
The ex-Red Devils winger was thrilled that he had the opportunity to wear the same shirt number as United legend Mark Hughes, who wore No 10 during his spell.
Beckham also recalled how the arrival of Teddy Sheringham signalled Ferguson’s decision to relieve him of the No 10 shirt and hand him the iconic No 7 in its place.
“It was amazing because I… one of the players that I always looked up to was Mark Hughes,” Beckham said.
“So, for me, to wear [the] No 10 was very special and I remember being on holiday in Malta and my phone ringing and we just signed Teddy Sheringham. And it was, ‘Hi, it’s the Boss [Ferguson].’
“All right, boss, this is something different,” I said. “We’re taking the No. 10 and we’re signing Teddy Sheringham,” he declared. “No, Boss, I had a great season in this No. 10,” I replied. “Nope, doesn’t matter, David. We’ll see you in a few weeks,” Ferguson remarked.
And with that, I lost the No. 10 position in one of my greatest seasons ever. However, when I returned to training, the boss said, “By the way, you have No 7.” And I thought, “Ohhhh.”
Beckham sporting the No. 7 jersey
Beckham would don the No. 7 shirt and create his own legacy in it, continuing Eric Cantona’s illustrious legacy.
According to Beckham, he never felt the pressure that came with the No 7 shirt and he claimed that he was mainly happy to actually wear it in the first place.
When asked if he felt the weight of the No 7 shirt, he responded: “No, not really. Not really. It didn’t even enter my head, to be honest.
“I just thought wearing the No 7 of [Eric] Cantona and Bryan Robson and George Best, I never felt the pressure. I was just so happy to actually wear the No 7.”