The new four-part Netflix documentary BECKHAM is poised to shed light on the former England football star David Beckham’s life, both within and beyond the soccer field. In the recently unveiled trailer, there’s one segment where the former Manchester United player is seen finally opening up about that infamous dressing room incident that occurred in 2003.
In February 2003 Beckham was playing for Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson’s management. The incident took place after an FA Cup match against Arsenal. It was widely reported that the confrontation between Beckham and Ferguson became heated. The primary reason for the confrontation was a culmination of tensions that had been building between the two for some time.
One of the key issues was Beckham’s commitment to the club and his off-field activities. Ferguson was known for his strict discipline and focus on football. The Manchester United manager from 1972 to 1977, Tommy Docherty once called Sir Alex Ferguson “a crackpot and a bully.”
Ferguson reportedly felt that Beckham’s growing celebrity status and involvement in various commercial ventures were distracting him from his football career. There were also rumours of conflicts between Beckham and some of his teammates, including a reported clash with United’s assistant manager, Brian Kidd.
After the match, Ferguson confronted Beckham in the dressing room about his performance, and the argument escalated to the point where Ferguson kicked a football boot that hit Beckham above the eye, causing a cut.
Here’s what Ferguson wrote of the incident in My Autobiography: “He was around 12 feet from me. Between us on the floor lay a row of boots. David swore. I moved towards him, and as I approached I kicked a boot. It hit him right above the eye. Of course, he rose to have a go at me and the players stopped him. ‘Sit down,’ I said. ‘You’ve let your team down. You can argue as much as you like.’”
Kit man Albert Morgan confirmed this version, remembering how Ferguson went “flying across in a rage”. However, Morgan was sceptical about the seriousness of the injury when asked about the plastered cut Beckham appeared with later, “I’m not going to talk about that. The only thing I will say is that I think it was stage-managed because it wasn’t even worth a stitch.”
In 2017, Beckham spoke about the incident, “I’d made a couple of mistakes during the game and he came into the changing room and we had a couple of words. He started to walk over to me and he kicked a pile of clothes on the floor. Out came this boot and it hit me and then I realised how accurate he actually was!”
This incident marked a turning point in Beckham’s career at Manchester United. In the summer of 2003, he was transferred to Real Madrid, where he continued his successful football career. Meanwhile, Ferguson continued to manage Manchester United until his retirement in 2013.
BECKHAM will be available for streaming on October 4th, 2023. Each hour-long episode of the four-part docuseries will be released simultaneously.