Vancouver Women Love David Beckham

Vancouver Women Love David Beckham


Our
Gung Haggis girls, Linda and Wendy, hold up their souvenir towels with
LA Galaxy soccer star David Beckham somewhere in the background down on
the field – photo Todd Wong/L.Daly collection

We
had a group of 11 Gung Haggis paddlers and 4 friends join us to go to
the LA Galaxy vs Vancouver White Caps game featuring David Beckham on
November 7th at BC Place Stadium.  We were all there to see soccer
superstar David Beckham, but the females in our group were more vocal
about being happy to attend the game and especially happy to see
Beckham.  Julie, Wendy, Linda, Jenna and even Keng!  When
Beckham took off his game jersey to give to a young fan, they declared
it a bonus seeing the topless Beckham.


David Beckham at centre field – photo L. Daly

I
haven't seen a lot of soccer games.  The last time was a White
Caps game was back in the 1980's, and it was at BC Place Stadium. 
But in the large stadium, it was generally easy to pick out the
blonde-headed Beckham.  The man carried himself with
presence.  His image was often up on the large video screen. 
The crowd cheered when he got the ball.  And… the entire arena
got excited when Beckham took two corner kicks in the 2nd half – but
neither were dangerous.

Soccer is a very multicultural
sport.  It is played almost everywhere in the world, probably even
at the research stations on Anarctica.  When I was growing up in
East Vancouver during the 60's and '70's the best soccer players were
the Italian and Portuguese-Canadian kids.  They were usually
taller and faster than me and my Chinese-Canadian friends.  But
sometimes we would get together and just have games with Asian kids –
then we were pretty well all the same size and still having fun.

Over
48,000 fans attended the game, the 4th largest in White Caps soccer
history.  I saw people from many ethnicities and heard many
different languages at the game.

Todd, Wendy, Jonas and Linda – sitting in the stands – photo Victor/L.Daly collection

Attending
the game was a great way for our dragon boat team members to socialize
during the off-season.  While in the stands, we talked about how
much we knew or didn't know about soccer.  We talked about
learning a new paddling technique, about going to different races –
like Hawaii if one of us won that night's $35 Million 6/49.

My library friend Kay took a video of Beckham's corner
kick.  Kay saw Beckham play many times for Manchester United while
she lived in England.   Kay also used to paddle for a UK
junior dragon boat team that raced at the World Championships. 
Maybe one day… Kay will come paddle for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy
dragon boat team. She sent me this review of the game:

“Having seen David Beckham play many times for Manchester United, I
found the Whitecaps game a very different experience. I think a lot of
it was down to the enclosed stadium. Although the crowd was far quieter
than your average Premier League crowd (who sing, shout, cheer and
stamp their feet at a deafening level, so you emerge after 90 minutes
with your ears still ringing) the atmosphere felt a lot closer and more
intimate in the indoor stadium. The pitch also looked smaller than the
Premier League standard, although that might have been my imagination.

“On
the pitch, Becks was still Becks. He's slower than he used to be, but
his right foot still has the magic. In the United treble-winning team,
he didn't really stand out because the whole team were so good. In this
match, he was clearly a class apart. He can still hit a cross with
pinpoint accuracy, and send a ball two-thirds of the way up the pitch
onto the toe of the player running for the pass. He's also still a
consummate professional, and very much a team player: he never holds
onto the ball when he can see someone in a better position.

“The
match wasn't stellar football by any means (although the Whitecaps
should definitely have won) but with the Beckham show in town, most
people weren't really there for the football. Personally, I was there
for the memories – and it was a wonderful reminder of the best United
team I ever saw.”

A
man proposed to his girlfriend on the video screen while the game was
in progress during the second half.  She said yes.  But the
biggest cheer of the night went to a streaker who ran up the East side
of the field, across the North side, then down the West side before he
was finally tackled.

The streaker had a good run. – photo L. Daly – Click on this link for the you tube video by Kay.

Check out the story on Beckham star attraction for 48172 soccer fans in Vancouver

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