The picture, created for football magazine FourFourTwo, showed Sir Alex Ferguson’s golden boy as having fallen on hard times, with thinning hair and wrecked teeth. The writers speculated: “Things went distinctly pear-shaped for the Man United starlet after his club missed out on the 1998 championship and he lost his entire personal fortune in the Brylcreem crash of 2005.
“Now well into his forties, he is reduced to appearing for England veterans’ teams alongside his fellow Fergie fledgelings and reminiscing wistfully about his glory days.”
Guesswork continues to be wide of the mark when it turns to Beckham’s fashionista wife, Victoria: “Posh Spice, who has ballooned to 20st since her singing career collapsed, now models clothes for ‘the larger lady’.”
FourFourTwo’s guesswork couldn’t have been much wider of the mark. As well as presiding over a hugely successful business empire alongside his ‘very much not twenty stone wife, Beckham’s also hung onto his celebrated looks.