The Beckham farewell tour pitches up at Tottenham
I remember trying to see Ian Dury & the Blockheads play. He was badly ill at the time and it was rumoured to be his last gig.
I didn’t have a ticket but I aimed to buy one off a tout. Unfortunately, with morbid gawkers like myself thronging round the venue, prices were in excess of £50. Money which I considered better spent in the pub. I abandoned my plans for the gig.
The fact Dury clung on for another couple of years playing numerous other ‘farewell’ gigs only served to confirm the wisdom of my choice.
David Beckham seems to be on a similar farewell tour. Albeit one not prompted by impending death – however, much some rather uncharitable souls may wish it. So far the circus has pitched its tent at Madrid, Milan, Los Angeles and now, seemingly, at Tottenham.
The idea is that this is Beckham’s last chance to play in the Premiership. Our final opportunity to say goodbye to the most celebrated English footballer of the last 20 years. But is it?
Without pace or the legs to do 90 minutes of top level football he has become an irrelevance to the rhythms of the wider game. However, his advancing years haven’t diminished his ability to deliver an unerringly accurate cross, corner or free kick. As long as his dedication to training remains that skill is likely to remain.
Beckham has talked of playing on to 40, perhaps he’s being modest, because I don’t see any reason why he could creak on to at least 45. In recent times Teddy Sheringham was still playing at 41, and the lower leagues legend Tony Ford at 42. Hell, Sir Stanley Matthews won the triple playing in the Maltese League at the preposterous age of 55.
Beckham is now showbusiness and there’s no reason why chairman and managers at clubs around the world wouldn’t welcome him with open arms for years to come. He’d put a few thousand on the gate, shift a few shirts and small kids love him. He might even weigh in with an assist.
Too far fetched? Consider Romario who, long past his sell by date, went on a global tour in pursuit of his 1000th career goal.
But then comes the next ridiculous thought. Without a landmark like that for Beckham to aim at, does there ever actually need to be a goodbye? Perhaps Beckham is less Ian Dury and more Bob Dylan whose ‘never ending tour’ began in 1988 and has been rolling ever since.
I no longer consider it beyond the realms of possibility.