David Beckham says the memory of playing alongside his son Brooklyn in front of a sold-out Old Trafford is one he will never forget.
The former Manchester United star’s UNICEF Match For Children attracted over 75,000 fans as his Great Britain and Ireland team – managed by Alex Ferguson – beat a Rest of the World side 3-1 on Saturday.
Beckham’s eldest son Brooklyn made a surprise appearance by coming on for his famous father in the 76th minute, with the ex-England international then returning to the pitch to play alongside him in the final exchanges.
The Old Trafford crowd cheered every pass between the pair, with Beckham loving the experience and saying he is thrilled Ferguson agreed to the request.
“One of my lasting memories of playing here was winning the Premiership and walking around with Brookyn when he was 18 months old so having him here was a big decision and a decision I was very proud,” he said.
“He is 16 years old now, so more difficult to get on my shoulders! It was such a special occasion. Luckily the manager [Ferguson] agreed it was something we should do.
“It was special, passing the ball to him. It was amazing to have him out there with me.”
Beckham was unsure whether Brooklyn will be following his footsteps and pursuing a career in professional football, as he will be deciding between that and photography.
“He actually loves photography but one of his passions is football,” he said.
“We will see. I think he did well for 15 minutes. His first cross was great and then his corner on to his Dad’s head – I’ve never been good with my head to be honest – but he did well.
“I have always said to my children that as long as you have a passion for something and he loves football but he has always been very passionate about photography.”
Beckham also thanked supporters as he reflected on a day which saw him line up alongside a number of his old team-mates against some of the world game’s most famous names.
“It was amazing,” he said. “It doesn’t really get any better than that; a full house for a good cause.
“It was always going to be a special day. I want to thank all the fans, everyone involved, for the support because without that it’s very difficult to raise the money we did raise. It’s been an incredible day.
“I felt OK. Me, Butty [Nicky Butt] and [Paul] Scholes went out for the warm up and all turned around to each other and said ‘God, we’ve got to play 90 minutes!’ but after about 10 minutes we settled in.
“Clarence Seedorf came up to me and asked me to stop playing those long balls but I reminded him that that is what my game is all about.
“Being out there with the likes of Clarence, Luis Figo, Ronaldinho, Cafu … it was such a pleasure that they gave their time up and gave their support. Then on our side for players like John Terry and Peter Crouch, who are still playing, then Jamie Carragher being out there as a Liverpool player he is always going to get a bit of stick. Phil making those runs that Gary used to make and never get the ball, we continued that!”
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