Football: Here We Grow. They're Bloomin' Mad for Becks.(Sport)

Sunday Mirror (London, England), May 19, 2002 | Go to article overview

Football: Here We Grow. They're Bloomin' Mad for Becks.(Sport)


Byline: Paul Smith

DAVID Beckham and the England squad arrived on the paradise island of Jeju last night to a flower-power welcome.

The players and Sven Goran Eriksson were handed garlands - then the tightest security operation ever to oversee the national team swung into action as Becks prepared to face the possibility of spending the World Cup as a "prisoner" in his hotel room.

He fears he would be mobbed by obsessive fans if he ventured outside England's headquarters.

And yesterday, before the players arrived, more than 100 armed guards from the South Korean military had covered every inch of the grounds surrounding their hotel.

Sniffer dogs were drafted in to comb the outside perimeters while 50 guard checked the squad's living quarters.

Becks has already experienced the type of mass hysteria that is likely to follow the England players wherever they go in South Korea and Japan.

He travelled to the Far East with Manchester United on a pre-season tour last summer, and couldn't make a move without fans following.

He said: "It's almost impossible to leave your hotel and go out without being mobbed. They are 24 hours a day, seven days a week fans - and they go crazy when they see you. …

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