Michael Owen claims David Beckham let England down and says Victoria was disappointed in striker for not backing her husband over 1998 World Cup red card – The Sun

Michael Owen claims David Beckham let England down and says Victoria was disappointed in striker for not backing her husband over 1998 World Cup red card – The Sun

MICHAEL OWEN has revealed Victoria Beckham was "disappointed" in him for not backing David after his infamous sending off at France 98 — but the England star let his country down.

Beckham was shown a red card for flicking out his leg at Argentina midfielder Diego Simeone and referee Kim Milton Nielsen sent him for an early bath.


Beckham, then 23, was pilloried for the next six months in the Premier League, but Owen was the star of that night in St-Etienne, even though 10-man England were knocked out on penalties.

The then 18-year-old scored one of the great Three Lions goals, latching on to Beckham's pass to put England 2-1 up, just moments after winning a penalty that Alan Shearer converted.

In an extract from Owen's new book Reboot – My Life, My Time, he tells the Mirror: "After that World Cup in France, few would argue that his and my paths were different.

"I became the darling of English football for a period of time whereas he became the villain.

"The general feeling in the dressing room immediately after the match was that there was nothing to say about him getting sent off.

"What could any of us have said to him that would have changed anything? The damage was done.

"However, some time later, I got wind that Victoria was in some way disappointed in me.

"She felt, I was told, that while all the limelight was on me after the World Cup, I should have publicly and voluntarily come out and backed David."

I didn’t consider myself senior enough to pat David Beckham – twenty times more famous than I was at the time – on the back and say: ‘Keep your chin up, mate,’ either.

Owen, green behind the ears and learning to deal with the joy and despair of being a top footballer, did not feel it was his place to be a supportive figure to Beckham.

Especially given the fact that there were huge, experienced personalities like Alan Shearer, Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, Paul Ince and David Seaman in the squad.

He added: "I didn’t consider myself senior enough to pat David Beckham – twenty times more famous than I was at the time – on the back and say: ‘Keep your chin up, mate,’ either.

"Whether I thought his actions lost us the game or not didn’t matter.

"For me, at that time, it was about hierarchy and standing.

"I was just a junior member of that squad. I was really just a kid."

The latest revelation comes just a day after Owen's war of words with Alan Shearer that sparked a huge Twitter row over the striker's ill-fated spell at Newcastle.



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