Emile Heskey – Head of Leicester Women Football Development BSI

Heskey: Fame Was Never A Distraction For Beckham Like Sir Alex Said

In an exclusive interview with BoyleSports, former England star Emile Heskey has shared his experience of playing alongside David Beckham with England.

Beckham, a documentary about the life and career of David Beckham, premiered on Netflix last week and has since captured the imagination of football fans and the general English public.

David Beckham is the biggest star England football has ever had in terms of not only his status on the pitch but off of it too. That stardom brought with it fame which legendary Man United coach Sir Alex Ferguson claimed changed Beckham.

However, England teammate Emile Heskey has weighed in on the conversation around the impact of Beckham’s fame and the effect it had on the former England and Man United superstar.

Heskey also recalls his fondest memories of David Beckham along with his assessment of what the future holds for Birmingham City under the ownership of another sports superstar, legendary quarterback Tom Brady.

Heskey on David Beckham

Fame Wasn’t A Distraction For Beckham Like Sir Alex Said

I never saw any signs of David Beckham being distracted by fame.

He was the first football player to truly transcend the game, but he dealt with it well and still achieved so much in the game.

He had so much attention on him – and not many people would have handled it better than he did. Managers may not have liked it, but I think they’re starting to accept it a bit more because players have become such commodities in the media.

Beckham was doing that in the 1990s, though!

His success has probably helped this generation of players a lot, and I’m not sure if players understand that.

We’ve come to a point where managers will expect that, and that’s all down to Beckham.

Heskey’s Fondest Memory of David Beckham

My fondest memory of David Beckham would be his goal against Greece. He was such a leader and a great lad.

Another great memory occurred in 2002 after David had just become an Armani ambassador.

He delivered a load of Armani products in the dressing room and told us to take what we wanted!

Beckham is so down-to-earth, even now. He’s a great, humble guy.

Heskey on Birmingham City

Tom Brady & New Ownership Exactly What Birmingham Need

I’m definitely excited by Tom Brady’s investment in Birmingham FC. We’re talking about the second-biggest city in England and a huge club in itself.

The club has been through a lot of turmoil recently, but the light at the end of the tunnel could be here. They’ll want to push the club forward and you’re starting to see the previously-condemned stand being built.

I’d say this ownership consortium is exactly what the club needs.

Modern Football Clubs More Like ‘Entertainment Businesses’

I’d say I am a fan of Wrexham’s growth, and I’d want the same for Birmingham.

Celebrity ownership brings revenue, notoriety, and razzmatazz and I’d say aspects of football are already heading down this route.

I’m not saying it’ll be Americanised, but…

…modern clubs are much more holistic in what they offer and they can almost be seen as entertainment businesses.

Football used to be only about Saturdays, but it’s a 24/7 business now. Fans want to feel connected to the club, and they’ll almost want to see more of the club they support.

Heskey In Favour Of Rooney Becoming Birmingham Manager

I think Wayne Rooney has done really well in management.

I’d support him [Rooney] being the manager of Birmingham due to his profile and status in the game.

He’ll, of course, need to deliver results, but having a figure like him at the club would bring a lot of attention.

I think Wayne has done great and he’s always done well with the resources he’s been given. He went through a lot at Derby, but I think he did well and he dealt with the pressure well.

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