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20 Dec 2010

Former England captain David Beckham has received the BBC Sports Personality Lifetime Achievement award.

The 35-year-old midfielder is England's most capped outfield player and won six Premier League titles and the Champions League crown with Manchester United.

He won the Spanish league with Real Madrid after a £25m move from United before joining Los Angeles Galaxy and also spent two loan spells at AC Milan.

In 2001 Beckham was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

"I'm humbled to receive an award for something I love doing and continue to love doing, [I am] very humbled," said a tearful Beckham, who accepted the award from Sir Bobby Charlton.

"To receive it from Sir Bobby, who was there when I first started, [I am] truly honoured," he added.

"Football's a team game. Without the teams and players' support I've had over the years, players like Ryan [Giggs] and the other greats, I wouldn't be here without the support and skill of them.

"Playing for England is one of the biggest things of my career, and I've always been able to play for some of the best coaches throughout my career.

"I have to thank so many people - my parents, who sacrificed so much, who always have done and always will do, my family and friends, of course my wife and children. Not only has she [Victoria] given me three amazing boys but the support she has given me, inspiration every day."

"David's record on and off the pitch has been remarkable," BBC Sports Personality of the Year editor Carl Doran said.

"It's a fitting reward for an outstanding career as a player and for his tireless work as an ambassador for British sport. He has also been a tremendous role model."

Nine years ago Beckham won the main award, voted for by the public, after an outstanding display for England against Greece in which his late free-kick earned the national side a place in the 2002 World Cup finals.

His England career began in September 1996 against Moldova with his latest, and 115th, cap coming against Belarus in October 2009. He also captained England 59 times in that period.

Having appeared and scored in the previous three World Cups, Beckham was expected to be selected for the tournament in South Africa in 2010.

But the player, who hails from east London, tore his Achilles tendon while on loan from LA Galaxy at AC Milan in March, and was ruled out of what would have been his fourth World Cup.

His celebrated England career owes a lot to the 10 years he spent at Old Trafford under the guidance of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who won the first BBC lifetime award in 2001.

Having been part of United's venerated FA Youth Cup-winning side of 1992, Beckham went on to lift nine major trophies with the club.

One of his most memorable years was in 1999, when he helped United win the Treble. His corners led to the two late strikes which allowed the Red Devils to fight back from a goal down to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in a dramatic Champions League final at Barcelona's Nou Camp.

It was also the year that the midfielder married former Spice Girl Victoria Adams.

Beckham moved on to Real in 2003, where he played alongside the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Raul and Roberto Carlos.

During his final season, 2006-2007, he won his only league title with the Madrid side, pipping Barcelona to the crown on the final day of the season.

A move to Major League Soccer in the United States with LA Galaxy followed and also two loan periods at Italian giants AC Milan.

Beckham lives in Los Angeles with his family but regularly returns to Britain and was a key member of the England 2018 World Cup bid, which lost out to Russia in the vote earlier in December.


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