Speaking at JW3 cultural centre in London on 14 June 2016, iconic footballer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham told the audience that his charity role has given him a passionate focus in life beyond his prolific sporting career.
Veteran journalist and new President of Unicef UK, Kirsty Young, interviewing Beckham live on stage, said that the former England football captain is notably dedicated to his ambassadorial role, both in his hands-on attention to detail and his ongoing commitment since 2005.
The footballer explained: “I have to be passionate about what I do. It has to come from a personal source. I’m retired from football but I still want to work hard. I am passionate about the game and I’m also passionate about helping children, especially since I’ve had my own family.”
The ex-Manchester United player said that since he retired from football three years ago, he is grateful that his former career has allowed him to generate publicity and build donations for the world’s leading children’s organisation.
“I’m retired from football but I still want to work hard. I am passionate about the game and I’m also passionate about helping children, especially since I’ve had my own family.”
In 2015, Beckham stepped up his commitment to the world’s children even further by launching ‘7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund’. Through ‘7’, the footballer said he aims use his powerful global voice, influence and connections to raise vital funds and encourage world leaders to create lasting positive change for children.
“My profile has given me the opportunity to make inroads all over the world for UNICEF” he said, explaining that “everything I have done, my football career, my family, has led to this point – this is the moment for me to do what I can to help children all over the world. This is something I want my own children to be proud of.”
“My profile has given me the opportunity to make inroads all over the world for UNICEF”
When asked on stage what has been the key to his success, Beckham replied: “It’s all or nothing with me. I’m not the most talented but then I work hard. I would always like to be known as a hard worker. I take that into everything I do and I like to be involved in every single detail.”
Speaking of the ups and downs in his illustrious career, he said he “learned a lot” when he was sent off with a red card at the crucial World Cup England–Argentina match in 1998. “I became stronger. It made me grow up.”
“I would always like to be known as a hard worker. I take that into everything I do and I like to be involved in every single detail.”
Beckham concluded his talk by praising the leadership of football coaches throughout his career, in particular Alex Ferguson. “They taught me that good leaders lead by example through hard work and they know how to react in any situation.”
He told the audience that he hopes to take forward these leadership skills into his growing philanthropic endeavours.