Seen on the Green
Famous Faces From Chingford
by Thom Goddard
This Month: David Beckham OBE
Many people know that David Robert Joseph Beckham OBE was born in Whipps Cross Hospital in 1975 and was taken home to Leytonstone. However, global brand Beckham actually grew up in Chingford and this is where he has his roots.
The Beckhams, father and mother Ted and Sandra at this time, moved to Chingford in 1977 and David attended Chase Lane Primary School, Chingford Mount. In a 2007 interview Beckham said that "At school whenever the teachers asked, 'What do you want to do when you're older?' I'd say, 'I want to be a footballer.' And they'd say, 'No, what do you really want to do for a job?' But that was the only thing I ever wanted to do." David’s passion for football comes from his father and mother, staunch Manchester United supporters, who still live in Chingford.
As fanatical football fans living in Chingford, father and son would practice in Ridgeway Park and David was soon taken on by Ridgeway Rovers F.C., a Chingford youth team that came to dominate the Enfield District League. Although this isn’t surprising as along with Goldenballs the team included Micah Hyde, who went on to play for Watford, and Chris Day, QPR’s goalkeeper at one time. In three seasons David Beckham scored over 100 goals for Ridgeway Rovers and began to attract attention from professional football scouts.
David Beckham’s secondary education was at the Chingford Foundation School on Nevin Drive where his talents were noted in one evaluation stating he had ‘a natural ability to succeed in sports’. These skills were put to the test on Blue Peter in 1985 and led to him winning the Bobby Charlton Soccer Skills Tournament at Old Trafford in 1986. The prize for coming first was a trip to Barcelona F.C. where the young David met the Catalan club’s then manager Terry Venables. In fact Venables says “I was so impressed by the young lad that I rang up my dad in London and told him to keep an eye on him”.
At 14 years old David Beckham moved up north from Chingford when he signed for Manchester United. He left behind a £10 a night clearing glasses job at the Walthamstow Dog Stadium, a membership of the scouts at Gilwell Park and a Chingford community that would welcome him back with open arms. So keep a look out for anyone you meet in the Mount or have seen on the Green!
If you spot anyone contact: firstname.lastname@example.org