'I still want to kill these people': Victoria Beckham reveals 1998 red card backlash left David 'clinically depressed'

2 October 2023, 08:25 | Updated: 5 October 2023, 10:12

In their second episode of Beckham, the famous footballer and fashion mogul described the abuse David received.
In their second episode of Beckham, the famous footballer and fashion mogul described the abuse David received. Picture: Alamy
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

Victoria Beckham has revealed she wanted to 'kill' the people who sent her husband David abuse after he was given his infamous red card in the 1998 World Cup game against Argentina.

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In the second episode of the couple's Netflix series, Beckham, they discuss the abuse the couple received after David was sent off for kicking out at player Diego Simeone.

England went on to lose in a penalty shootout.

After the match, a pub hanged an effigy of David, 48, outside of the building.

During Manchester United’s first away game the following season, at West Ham, the team bus was pelted with stones and pint glasses.

Speaking about David’s reaction to the backlash, Victoria, 49, said: "He was absolutely broken. He was in pieces.

"He was really depressed, absolutely clinically depressed.

"It pained me so much, I still want to kill these people."

David Beckham was given a red card for kicking a player on the opposition team, Diego Simeone.
David Beckham was given a red card for kicking a player on the opposition team, Diego Simeone. Picture: Alamy

Speaking about the abuse he received, David said: "I wish there was a pill you could take which could erase certain memories.

"I made a stupid mistake. It changed my life.

David said was bombarded with comments such as 'how do you feel about letting your country down?' and 'you are a disgrace'.

"We were in America, just about to have our first baby, and I thought 'we will be fine, in a day or two people will have forgotten.'

"I don't think I have ever talked about it, just because I can't. I find it hard to talk through what I went through because it was so extreme.

"Wherever I went, I got abused every single day.

"To walk down the street and to see people look at you in a certain way, spit at you, abuse you, come up to your face and say some of the things they said, that is difficult.

"I wasn't eating, I wasn't sleeping. I was a mess. I didn't know what to do.

Read more: David Beckham admits lunging at Sir Alex Ferguson after Manchester Utd boss kicked boot at him in rage
Read more:
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"The boss [Alex Ferguson] called me. He said 'David, how are you doing?'

"I think I got quite emotional. He said 'how are you doing, son?'. I said 'not great boss.' He said 'OK, don't worry about it, son.'

"That was the only thing I could control, once I was on the pitch, then I felt safe.

"It brought a lot of attention that I would never wish on anyone, let alone my parents, and I can't forgive myself for that. That is the tough part of what happened, because I was the one that made the mistake.

"When I have gone through difficult moments, I was able to block it out, but inside it killed me.

"Any time I was kicked during that season, it was like the [opposition team] had got two goals.

"As horrible as it was to look up to Victoria in the stand [getting that abuse], it was the one thing which spurred me on.'

David Beckham said that his wife, Victoria, was the only thing that "spurred" him on.
David Beckham said that his wife, Victoria, was the only thing that "spurred" him on. Picture: Alamy

In the episode, Victoria spoke about the difficulty of re-examining those memories.

She said: "I realise now why I found it so stressful doing these interviews with you (for Netflix) because I blocked a lot of it out, and I think David has as well, but now it is coming back to me - imagine having a baby and having death threats?

"David had to play with all this going on."

The couple had their first child Brooklyn in March 1999 and are also parents to Romeo, Cruz, and Harper.

The new Netflix series Beckham is set for release on Wednesday and it takes a look into the former football star's career with interviews from him and other familiar faces.

The pair recently flew to Paris for Victoria's Paris Fashion Week show.

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