Middle aged men all over the UK have been phoning help lines this morning after hearing the news that David Beckham’s international football career is over. For many the decision by Fabio Capello is the final nail in the coffin for their own aspirations to represent England at the next World Cup in 2014. Employers have reported a huge rise in people phoning in sick as they try to come to terms with the loss of their future career, huge related income and easy access to prostitutes. Prime Minister David Cameron has called the news ‘devastating’ for many men and today announced a fund to help those affected.
Dave Hurley, a Sales Director for a small IT reseller said, “I have played football on and off since I was at school and I just thought that one day someone would recognise my talent.” Hurley, who is 36 and three stone overweight, has been recovering from injury for the past year after twisting his ankle during the warm up for a pre-season friendly. “I would have lost the weight as soon as I was training again,” said Hurley, “but now Beckham has been sidelined, my dream is in tatters.”
Sports psychologist Ellie Banham is a specialist in dealing with footballers whose careers have ended prematurely, “This is a terrible blow for thousands of men in the UK and around the world. David Beckham was a role model for these men, playing top level football at the age of 35 is a terrific achievement. These men are experiencing feelings of genuine loss and it wouldn’t surprise me if we see some awful repercussions on their personal lives and relationships.”
The message boards on popular football websites have been inundated since the announcement. One message reads, “I had a trial with Chelsea when I was a kid, although it didn’t work out I still play regularly for my pub team and thought that I still had a chance with England. I’m only 34 but would be 38 in 2014 so this is a blow for me. I’ll still train hard and I’ll still turn up at all the England training camps, despite the court injunctions.”
The Daily Mail is linking the end of Beckham’s career with the Raoul Moat story. According to a friend of Moat, he had been predicting this move for a few months and knew it would spell the end of his own ambitions to follow in the footsteps of Gazza. The Mail believes that this, combined with the constant threat of a terrorist attack and immigrants taking all our jobs, pushed Moat over the edge.