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Dirty Tackle

Here’s a spiky-haired, 14-year-old David Beckham signing for Manchester United

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(Ted Beckham via The Times)

Before he scored that iconic goal against Greece, married a Spice Girl, won the treble, became the Pied Piper for MLS and got into the underpants racket, David Beckham was just a spiky-haired 14-year-old signing a schoolboy contract in a wood-paneled room with a man who had never won anything for Manchester United. Now, almost exactly 24 years and 4,872 Beckham hairstyles later, David Beckham is one of the most recognizable humans on the planet with a 14-year-old son of his own (who had a trial with Chelsea) and Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the most accomplished managers in the history of sports.

They're both retiring at the end of the season and they're both doing it as champions – Beckham in France, age 38, and Ferguson still in the Premier League, age 71. Though their relationship was marred by Ferguson kicking a boot at Beckham and opening up a cut above his eye before the midfielder left Man United for Real Madrid in 2003, there was nothing but hopes and dreams in that antiquated room with too many phones on the table in 1989.

But well before that momentous day, David Beckham had already made his television debut. Here he is at the age of 12 on Thames Television's daytime show, quietly talking about his participation in the Bobby Charlton Soccer School...

A lot has changed for Beckham over all these years, but his voice is still the same.

Photo: The Times via KickTV

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