David Beckham says filming his new series was “a real moment of fulfillment for me” and recalls memories of playing football with his father as a boy.
The former England soccer star said his parents have always been “my biggest supporters” and the Disney+ series are an “emotional” reminder of the power of junior football clubs. with the local community.
Titled Save Our Squad with David Beckham, it sees the 47-year-old return to his East London roots to mentor the Westward Boys under 14, a youth team at the bottom of the league and facing with relegation.
The league – Echo Premier League – was the same league he played in as a boy.
Beckham told the PA news agency that participating in the series “is to give back” and that working with young players has reminded him that grassroots football clubs care about the community just as much. the game itself.
“I feel very fortunate to have had a career like I’ve had and it all started with field football and playing in the Echo League,” he told PA.
“Being back home in East London where I grew up and working with this great team and boys and coaches is a real moment of fulfillment for me.
“For me, participating in this series is about giving back.”
Beckham recalls his own experience growing up and playing with his father, Ted Beckham, to hone his world-famous free-kicks.
“Going back to those muddy football fields and parks, I will definitely go back to the time when my dad took me to the local park and we played football for hours,” he said.
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“He would make me practice free-kicks over and over again – hit that spot, hit that target. That’s where it all started for me.
“I had a great childhood and it’s fortunate that I was so young that I knew what I wanted to do in life and to be able to meet these boys and see them share those dreams is so special.”
He added: “My father has been my mentor all my life.
“I have always respected him and he and my mother have always been my biggest supporters when I was growing up and starting my football career for the first time.”
Beckham recently attended the premiere of Save Our Squad in London with family members and young Westward Boys players.
He told PA it was “emotional” to work with the group as well as a “complete privilege to see these boys grow into youth”.
“I learned a lot from these boys — I learned about their resilience,” he said.
“Having children myself, I know how they go through emotions and ups and downs but with these boys, seeing some of the challenges they face and how they stand up, I know. that this is a group of strong and resilient boys. .
“I want them to believe in themselves and I know that they really do.”
Beckham said he hopes to have taught the boys the value of hard work and has a “strong work ethic”.
“Also, who you are off the pitch is more important than who you are on the pitch. It’s about being a good person, not just a good player,” he said.
Talking about what he took away from the series, he said: “It reminds me that field football is not just a game but also about community.
“Youth teams like the Westward Boys give so much to the community around them, their families, their friends, their coaches.
“I have always known how special field football is but making this movie brought me back to its heart after so many years and it reminded me that field football is as special and important as it is. How about the local community.”
Save Our Squad with David Beckham is available on Disney+ from November 9.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/david-beckham-new-grassroots-football-series-was-full-circle-moment-for-me-42129958.html David Beckham: The new field football series is a complete moment for me