Moments of Magic #7 – David Beckham

by Neil Sherwin

Thirteen years ago the world sat up and took note of a 21 year old Manchester United midfielder.  Moments of Magic recalls why.

#7 David Beckham v Wimbledon, 1996

The opening day of the 1996/97 Premiership will always be remembered for one goal.

Manchester United were two goals up and cruising away from home against Wimbledon thanks to goals from Eric Cantona and Denis Irwin.

With the clock ticking over to injury time, young David Beckham picked up the ball just inside his own half. Lifting his head, he spotted Dons keeper Neil Sullivan off his line and hit a stunning effort that dipped over the Scottish international and into the net.

The strike was both audacious and casual at the same time; executed with the same flawless technique that would become so recognisable around the globe for the next decade and more.

Beckham went on to win his first England cap against Moldova a few weeks later, and picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year award at the end of the season as United claimed the title.

His career has had its fair share of highs and lows since but Beckham remains one of the superstars of the modern game.

As for Sullivan, he obviously never learnt his lesson as in March of this year he was the victim of a similar strike from Coventry’s David Bell while keeping goal for Doncaster Rovers.


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