Beckham was sitting in the VIP gallery of the Kamalapur Stadium to watch the opening match of the 23rd Grameenphone Federation Cup between Chittagong Abahani and Bangladesh Police yesterday.
Yes, you have read it right. Ted Beckham, the father of England’s most celebrated football player David Beckham, watched the match with great interest.
The 62-year-old arrived in the city last morning as an ambassador of the David Beckham Football Academy partnering Canary Wharf Football Development Programme, a major real estate developer in Tower Hamlets of London, which is a major centre for the Bangladeshi community in the United Kingdom.
Beckham Sr., who has coached a few Bangladeshi youngsters at the famed David Beckham Academy in London, said the Bangladeshi boys are good in technique and they can only improve given proper coaching and training.
A fan of Twenty20 cricket, Beckham said he would not have the opportunity to watch the Bangladesh’s third one-day match against New Zealand today, but he did watch Tigers’ match against Middlesex when they toured England earlier this year.
Howard Dowber, strategic adviser to Canary Wharf watched the opening Federation Cup match with Beckham.
Dowber said, “We are proud to have been associated with the training of Bangladeshi kids. We feel tactically and physically they have improved a lot.
“The four-year programme has now come to an end. We believe the youth programme that we started four years ago, will be taken forward by the Bangladesh Football Federation.”
Dowber informed that few of those players from the academy have appeared for the Bangladesh Under-19 side and ply their trade for some of the top clubs in the country.
The Canary Wharf representatives, along with Ted Beckham, will watch the academy players in an exhibition match against a local team at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.