Ex-Man United star David Beckham should never receive knighthood - poll


David Beckham, former England captain and global sporting icon, should never be knighted, according to a new poll.

More than half of the 1,000 people questioned in a Usurv poll commissioned by Press Association Sport ahead of the former England captain's 40th birthday on Saturday said they did not think Beckham should be awarded the knighthood.

In the poll, 36.45 percent of respondents said they would be happy for the ex-Manchester United man to become Sir David Beckham, but 50.82 percent disagreed, with 14.53 percent saying they did not know whether he should be knighted or not.

Arise Sir David Beckham? Not according to our Usurv poll. http://t.co/2DwKjOn4ga pic.twitter.com/i2JDHZrHbM

- PA Sport (@pasport) May 1, 2015
Beckham's club career was hugely successful. Part of the so-called "Class of 92" group of young players drafted into the senior United team, the Leytonstone-born midfielder won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and one Champions League during his time at Old Trafford, and was a key part of the treble-winning squad in the 1998-99 season.

However, those exploits for United have not translated into popularity in the north-west according to the poll, where only 30.66 percent of respondents felt he should be made a knight.

The region showing greatest support for him to be knighted was the east midlands where 45.15 percent were in favour, with Yorkshire and the Humber just behind on 44.22 percent.

He was least popular in East Anglia, where 60.78 percent were against Beckham being knighted while his native Londoners were also opposed (57.75 percent said no).

Beckham left United in the summer of 2003 to join Real Madrid, where he became one of the club's superstar "Galactico"signings.

Despite the assembly of talent at the Bernabeu, it took Beckham until his last season in Spain -- 2006-07 -- to win the league title. Midway through that campaign he announced he had agreed a five-year deal to move to the United States with LA Galaxy.

At international level, Beckham won 115 England caps -- a record for an outfield player -- and captained the team for six years.

Beckham put in some excellent performances for England -- arguably none greater than his superb display against Greece in 2001 to help England qualify for the following year's World Cup in -- but he failed to lead a talented generation of English players to a title, or even to the last four of a major tournament.

Beyond football, Beckham is a global celebrity. His relationship with and subsequent marriage to Spice Girls singer Victoria Adams in 1999 thrust him into the public eye and made him instantly recognisable even to those with no interest in football.

His and Victoria's joint wealth was estimated at 240 million in last month's 2015 Sunday Times Rich List, with Beckham's football earnings boosted by his endorsement deals.

The Usurv poll showed those on higher incomes -- people earning 40,000 a year or more -- were least well disposed to Beckham, with 60.35 percent against the idea of him being knighted. The most supportive group were those earning between 20,000 and 39,999, where 39.2 percent felt he should be awarded the honour.

The poll showed Beckham was more popular among women than men, with 35.68 percent of female respondents saying he should be knighted compared with 33.58 percent of men.

Beckham was awarded an OBE for services to football in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June 2003.

In 2005 Beckham's star status was credited with helping London succeed in its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, and he played a prominent role in the opening ceremony for the event, riding on a speedboat down the River Thames carrying the Olympic flame to the main stadium.

Beckham is an ambassador the UNICEF charity, and earlier this year set up the 7 fund -- named after the shirt number he wore with United and England -- to help vulnerable children at risk of violence, abuse or disease.

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