SAN FRANCISCO, February 06, (THEWILL) – David Beckham’s image as a British cultural icon has taken a battering following the leaking of expletive-strewn emails in which he apparently raged about not receiving a knighthood as he is said to have sworn in emails to his PR team after being told he would not be made “Sir David” by Queen Elizabeth II because of concerns about his tax affairs.
Reports also emerged on that the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star refused to put his own money into his humanitarian 7 Fund and tried to obtain reimbursement from the UN children’s agency UNICEF for expenses met by his sponsors.
A spokesman for the 41-year-old former England football captain said the emails, released by the Football Leaks website, were “hacked and doctored” to give a “deliberately inaccurate picture”.
However, there has been a backlash against Beckham from sections of Britain’s tabloid media.
Monday’s Daily Mail spoke of the “Shame of Saint Becks”, with a columnist pronouncing him “a foul-mouthed, determined egotist” who had used charity work as part of an “increasingly desperate” bid for a knighthood.
Outspoken television host Piers Morgan told his 5.47 million Twitter followers the revelations were “sickening” and exposed Beckham as a “fraud”.
Beckham received an OBE from the queen in 2003, a lower honour than a knighthood and has maintained a high profile since retiring from the game in May 2013 following a brief stint with French side Paris Saint-Germain.
His wife also received an OBE in the 2017 New Year Honours list despite her label being threatened with closure after failing to file company accounts. She was criticised in British tabloid newspapers for telling her family she would be receiving the award before the official announcement.
Beckham is renowned for his dead-ball prowess and his seemingly limitless stamina, as well as his ever-changing hairstyles. He won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the 1999 Champions League with United, creating both injury-time goals as Alex Ferguson’s side stormed back to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the final.
He captained England for six years and played at three World Cups, his 115 caps making him his country’s third most-capped player behind Peter Shilton and Wayne Rooney.
He is the face of firms including Adidas, fashion chain H&M and Haig Whisky and his shared fortune with Victoria, dubbed “Brand Beckham”, is believed to exceed £500 million ($624 million, 582 million euros).