Joins Manchester United
David Beckham was born in Leytonstone, London, on May 2, 1975 to Ted, a repair man, and Sandra Beckham. He started dreaming about playing soccer professionally when he was eight years old as he watched the sport on television. Beckham played youth soccer, and when he was eleven he won the Bobby Charlton Soccer Skills Competition, which judged ball control skills. The win earned Beckham a trip to Barcelona, where he drew the attention of a Manchester United soccer talent scout. His parents insisted that Beckham finish his schooling at Chingford High before he could join a professional team.
At the age of sixteen, Beckham signed on as an apprentice for Manchester United and the team won the Football Association (FA) Youth Cup in 1992. On April 2, 1995, Beckham made his Premier League debut at home in a match against Leeds United. During the following season, 1995-96, he began making an impact on his team from the midfield position. He was slowly growing a reputation for his ability to execute free kicks and score goals, often times in sensational fashion or at critical moments of the game. His performance during the season caught the attention of England's national team manager, who capped Beckham (named him to the national team). He made his national debut on September 1, 1996, against Moldova.
Manchester United won the Premier League championship both in 1996 and 1997. In 1997 Beckham was
voted the Young Player of the Year and finished second in voting for the overall Player of the Year award. Despite failing to retain the Premiere League title in 1998, Beckham was named to England's World Cup squad, and he signed a five-year, $12.5 million contract with Manchester United.