Always the composed, corporate-friendly gentleman away from the game, David Beckham is a fierce competitor on the pitch who has never shied away from telling a referee exactly what he's thinking. This has gotten him in trouble from time to time and as he revealed on Saturday's episode of "The Jonathan Ross show"; it's even gotten him kicked out of a Los Angeles area children's match just for trying to defend a 7-year-old kid.
Said Beckham, with a smile:
"I was watching the kids play the other day, it was the younger kids of [middle son] Romeo's club, and there was a penalty given.
"And the kids are 7 years old and he [the referee] sent the kid off. And I was like, 'Come on, he's 7, referee, you can't send him off.' And he looked at me and was like, 'Yes, I can.'
"And I said, 'Well, you can't, he's 7 years old.' And he came over and he gave me a red card. He told me to get out of the park. For real.
"The gate was only 20 yards away so I went to the other side of the gate and I came back when my son's game was on."
What the kid did to get sent off, whether the referee was getting backtalk from other parents and whether that really was all Beckham said to get on the referee's bad side are all details left out of David's story. Surely there must be a paparazzi video of the incident that will show up, though. This was in L.A., after all.
Beckham went on to say that while the referees might not appreciate his presence, the other dads enjoy having him around and that sometimes he helps coach the kids. He's shown that he takes after Alex Ferguson, his old manager at Manchester United, in questioning referee decisions, but it seems he draws the line at giving the kids Fergie's hairdryer treatment.
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