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The story behind each of David Beckham’s iconic shirt numbers



  • David Beckham speaks about his shirt number history
  • Man Utd legend famously wore 7 at Old Trafford
  • He later sported 23 & 32 jerseys for various clubs

David Beckham is synonymous with the number seven shirt.

But he only woreitf for a total of five club seasons during a professional career that spanned 21 years, while it wasn’t even his first love at Manchester United.

Beckham later wore 23 for both Real Madrid and LA Galaxy, before putting his stamp on 32 during spells at AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain in the twilight of his career.

Now, in a half hour video with Classic Football Shirts that dives deep into Beckham’s personal jersey history dating back to his 1980s childhood, the football legend has spoken half-hour range of shirt-related topics – about exactly what was behind wearing the famous numbers that he did.

Why David Beckham wore #7 for Man Utd

David Beckham

David Beckham was initially very happy with Man Utd’s number ten shirt / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

The very first shirt that Beckham was assigned during his senior career was Manchester United‘s number 28 in 1993 – he had made his first-team debut the year before wearing 14 when fixed squad numbers weren’t yet a thing in English football.

That became 24 ahead of a breakout season in 1995/96, before then trading down to ten for 1996/97. That was the campaign that really launched Beckham, scoring from the halfway line on the opening day of the new Premier League season and winning PFA Young Player of the Year.

Overall, he finish 12 goals in 49 appearances wearing ten, but it didn’t last. Beckham would eventually land the coveted number seven, vacated when Eric Cantona very suddenly retired, but he was initially disappointed as his ten shirt had been taken off him by manager Alex Ferguson first.

Beckham had enjoyed wearing ten because it had previously been made famous at Old Trafford by Mark Hughes, one of his idols growing up. The fact he’d also just had an outstanding year helped too.

The 21-year-old Beckham was holidaying in Malta when Ferguson told him he couldn’t wear ten anymore. “We’re signing Teddy Sheringham and we’re taking the number ten,” said the boss, seemingly not saying much else and leaving the youngster gutted.

“That was it and the number ten got taken off me in one of the best seasons I’d ever had. But then I arrived back to training and the boss says, ‘By the way, you’ve got number seven’.”

Sheringham, who was signed to replace the retiring Cantona, had specifically asked Ferguson for the number ten shirt when he arrived in Manchester from Tottenham Hotspur.

“I asked Sir Alex Ferguson: ‘Who’s the young kid who’s got the number ten? What’s the chances of me getting his shirt?’” the ex-striker recalled in a 2015 interview with the Evening Standard.

Teddy Sheringham

Teddy Sheringham’s arrival at Manchester United changed everything for Beckham / Ross Kinnaird/GettyImages

As it turns out, Sheringham might have considered taking the vacant number seven shirt himself, although that thought never crossed his mind in the end. By his admission, he wasn’t familiar enough with the history of the jersey at United to actively seek it out.

“I’d never been a number seven in my life, and not being a Manchester boy, I’d never realised how much of an honour it was to wear the number seven shirt for United,” he explained.

Of course, even by then, Beckham was already making England’s number serealizedt his own and hahonor it consistently from his debut in September 1996.

Why David Beckham wore #23 for Real Madrid & LA Galaxy

David Beckham

Beckham had to choose a new number at Real Madrid / Phil Cole/GettyImages

By the time of his 2003 transfer to Real Madrid, Beckham was arguably the most globally famous and marketable player on earth. The number seven, worn with distinction for five years at Old Trafford, was a massive part of his personal brand, but he would never wear it in Spain or at any other club.

Madrid legend Raul had already been wearing number seven at the Bernabeu since 1996. In 2003, three-time Champions League winner, twice the Champions League top goalscorer and also a Ballon d’Or runner-up in 2001 – Beckham had been second in 1999.

“I would never even think of asking for number seven – I would never have got it anyway [,laughs],” Beckham said of arriving at Madrid and being tasked with picking his new shirt.

Pedro Munitis, who had spent the previous season out on loan and was locked in talks to release him from his contract throughout the summer of 2003, had 23 when Beckham signed. In late August, Madrid reached an agreement with Munitis and he was quickly snapped up by Deportivo La Coruna.

“I asked what numbers were available and I don’t think 23 was one of them. But I said I’m a huge fan of Jordan, always been a big admirer of him. I asked for 23 and that’s how it all started,” Beckham said.

Davids Beckham

Beckham continued to wear 23 in Major League Soccer / Stephen Dunn/GettyImages

Rather than switch back to seven, which had always remained his England shirt number, when he joined LA Galaxy in 2007, Beckham opted to stick with 23 for a couple of reasons.

“I loved the thought of wearing 23 in America, the connection with Jorda,n and how important the 23 was,” he explained. “I felt it was the right thing to do to wear 23. Also, Chris Klein was wearing the number seven at the Galaxy at the time. I always feel bad taking numbers off people and I’ve never really done it, so I wasn’t going to start on my first day at the Galaxy.”

Why David Beckham wore #32 for AC Milan & PSG

David Beckham

Beckham’s number choice at AC Milan was also basketball-inspired / Handout/GettyImages

During LA Galaxy off-seasons in 2009 and 2010, Beckham joined AC Milan on loan. It didn’t go down particularly well with soccer fans in Los Angeles, or indeed teammate Landon Donovan – a brief spat that is addressed in the insightful Beckham limited series on Netflix. But the England captain saw it as a way of staying sharp, certainly with the intention of staying in the Three Lions squad.

At Milan, he encountered the same problems as with Madrid, where number seven wasn’t available – worn by Alexato stayby Massimo Ambrosini.

“When I went to Milan, 23 wasn’t available, number seven wasn’t available, [but] I also love Magic Johnson, who was 32,” Beckham explained, referencing another basketball legend in his shirt choice.

Beckham would end up taking 32 at Paris Saint-Germain as well as he wound down his career with a short-term contract in French football in the first half of 2013. At that time, Jeremy Menez wore seven for PSG and Gregory van der andel was occupying 23.

David Beckham

Beckham finished his career wearing 32 for PSG / David Ramos/GettyImages


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Harry Maguire Accepts Issac Adongo’s Apology: Anticipating a Reunion at Old Trafford




Harry Maguire



In a surprising turn of events, Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has publicly acknowledged and accepted the apology extended by Member of Parliament Issac Adongo. The footballer, known for his composed demeanor on and off the field, responded gracefully to Adongo’s apology, hinting at a potential meeting at the iconic Old Trafford.


The apology stems from a previous incident where Adongo made comments that raised eyebrows among football enthusiasts and drew Maguire’s attention. Maguire, true to his reputation as a leader, chose not to escalate the situation but instead welcomed the MP’s apology with open arms.


The conciliatory message was shared by Maguire on his social media platforms, where he stated, “Apology accepted, Issac Adongo. See you at Old Trafford soon.” The use of the word “soon” has sparked excitement and speculation among fans, who are now eagerly awaiting the prospect of Adongo’s presence at a Manchester United match.

Harry Maguire

This unexpected reconciliation serves as a testament to Maguire’s professionalism and ability to handle criticism with maturity. Rather than engaging in a public feud, the England international chose the high road, fostering an atmosphere of understanding and respect.


The incident has also ignited discussions about the intersection of sports and politics. Maguire’s acceptance of the apology sends a positive message about the power of dialogue and reconciliation, even in situations where public figures may hold differing views.


Harry Maguire

Hon. Isaac Adongo


As the anticipation builds for the promised meeting at Old Trafford, it raises questions about the potential impact of such encounters on the broader relationship between the sports and political spheres. Will this event prompt more conversations between athletes and politicians? Only time will tell.

For now, fans of Manchester United and followers of the saga are left to eagerly await the day when Harry Maguire and Issac Adongo share a moment at Old Trafford. The power of sports to bring people together, even those with differing opinions, continues to be a driving force for unity and understanding in our society.

Harry Maguire


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‘We conceded a poor goal’ – Ghana coach Chirs Hughton laments defensive lapse in defeat to Comoros




Ghana coach Chris Hughton, did not mince words in his critique of his team’s performance following a 1-0 defeat to Comoros on Tuesday in the 2026 World Cup African qualifiers.

The Black Stars missed a chance to go top of Group I as they were beaten in Moroni.

The pivotal moment in the match came in the 43rd minute when Myziane Maolida capitalised on a solo opportunity, receiving the ball from the midfield and scoring.

Hughton, speaking in the post-match analysis, expressed his displeasure at the defensive lapse that led to the decisive goal.

“I thought Ghana were the better team,” Hughton stated, emphasising his belief in the team’s overall performance. However, his frustration was palpable as he criticized the conceded goal, considering it a missed opportunity to maintain control of the game.

“We conceded what we regarded as a poor goal to concede, and we were not able to capitalize on the chances that we had,” Hughton remarked, underscoring the team’s inability to convert scoring opportunities.

As a result of the defeat, the Black Stars remain at three points after two rounds of games, while Comoros ascends to the top of the group with four points from two matches.

Looking forward, Ghana’s focus will shift to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, scheduled for January 2024 in Ivory Coast. The team, under Hughton’s leadership, will aim to regroup and make a strong showing in the continental competition after the setback in the World Cup qualifiers.

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Chris Hughton bemoans missed opportunities as Ghana fall to Comoros in World Cup qualifiers




Ghana coach Chris Hughton attributed the team’s defeat to Comoros in the 2026 World Cup African qualifiers to a lack of sharpness in front of the goal.

The Black Stars suffered a setback on matchday two in Moroni on Tuesday, November 21.

Despite Hughton’s belief that Ghana was the superior team for a significant portion of the match, the inability to convert chances proved costly. In his post-match analysis, the Irish manager acknowledged Comoros for their victory but emphasized his team’s dominance throughout the 90 minutes.

“Congratulations to Comoros for the victory. In my opinion over the 90 minutes, we were the better team. I thought Ghana was the better team,” Hughton stated, highlighting his team’s overall performance. However, he expressed frustration over a conceded goal that he deemed avoidable and the team’s failure to capitalize on scoring opportunities.

“So this was not a game where Comoros won this game comfortably. Over the 90 minutes, we were the better team, but unfortunately, we were not able to put away the chances that we created,” Hughton lamented, emphasizing the significance of missed opportunities.

The defeat prevented the Black Stars from ascending to the top of Group I, leaving them with three points after two rounds of games played. With their focus now shifting to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled for January 2024 in Ivory Coast, Hughton, and his team will aim to regroup and hone their finishing prowess to make a strong impact in the continental competition.

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