David Beckham: My Side: My Side - The Autobiography

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9780007157341: David Beckham: My Side: My Side - The Autobiography

David Beckham is one of the world's foremost media icons, his popularity transcending sport and cultural divides. This is his own in-depth account of his career to date, for Manchester United and England, and of his childhood, family and personal life.

With endless newspaper column inches devoted to one of the most talked about men in the world, it seems that we know everything there is to know about David Beckham. Or do we?

This is Beckham’s fascinating life story in his own words. His complex relationship with United boss Alex Ferguson and how he handles the pressure of playing alongside some of the most volatile footballers of his generation, from the likes of Cantona, Schmeichel and Keane. The England story, from being vilified by the nation before returning as the prodigal son and almost single-handedly guiding his country as captain to the 2002 World Cup Finals. One minute we are singing his praises; the next we are castigating him for losing control of his temper and being a poor role model. Where does the truth lie?

Now from Beckham himself, we gain a vivid and at times searingly honest insight into the family man behind the famous footballer, the international model and fashion leader. He describes how he first met and then married ex-Spice girl Victoria Adams, and the upbringing of their two children Brooklyn and Romeo. How his family's every step is monitored by a possee of newshounds and paparazzi. Also, the influence of his parents, growing up as a shy youngster in the family home, and how their subsequent split affected him.

This book is an intimate and soul-searching portrayal of a massive celebrity, a family man, and an awe-inspiring footballer – the likes of which we are unlikely to see again.

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Review:

Arguably the most recognised sportsman in the world, ever, David Beckham, at 28, has weathered several lifetimes' worth of speculation, rumours, adoration and insults--and now he claims to be setting the record straight. Beckham has been at the heart of some of the biggest stories in British football for a decade or more, and it's all here including: kung-fu Cantona; scoring from the halfway line; that Champions League Final; 1998 World Cup disgrace; 2002 World Cup glory; feuding with Fergie and the boot in the face; right through to entering the pantheon at Real Madrid in 2003. My Side fairly roars along from one headline-grabbing incident to another. Of course Beckham's passion for his game, and the challenges of preparation and performance, is the driving force behind the narrative, but we are rarely allowed to lose sight of the celebrity bubble in which ol' Golden Balls exists, as one half of Britain's other Royal family. At which point a souring note of reality must be introduced into this tell-it-like-it-was memoir. The problem is that we know Beckham so well. He is well established as a charming, courteous interviewee, for whom an inevitable and growing PR savvy has tightened his tongue, though not dimmed a natural warmth and enthusiasm, but he's equally well known to be, (how to put it?), not great with words. The bald fact is that, in public at least, Beckham has never uttered a single sentence half as vivid or coherent as those in My Side the voice with which we are all so familiar is entirely absent. Good thing too perhaps--400-odd pages full of "er" and "kinda like" would grate--but the polish that collaborator Tom Watts applies does lend this first-person narrative an air or unreality that some readers will find hard to disperse. That said, the result is a fluid, readable and hugely entertaining stroll through an extraordinary life, with a genuine sense of intimacy, a generous spread of colour photos, and some intelligent things to say about football and celebrity, despite the reservations about diluting the Beckham "essence". -- Alex Hankin

Review:

'The confrontations between Beckham and Ferguson have the acid marks of authenticity' Mail on Sunday'Skilfully written' Evening Standard'Utterly fascinating' Heat magazine'A sensational story' The Sun'This book sings' Daily Telegraph

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