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The Life and Career of David Beckham

Football Legend, Cultural Icon

Tracey Savell Reavis

David Beckham is an English soccer player whose popularity extends beyond the field and into international celebrity. He has played for some of the best clubs in the world, including Manchester United, Real Madrid, and AC Milan, and is known worldwide for his free kick expertise and spectacular long-range shots. His singular dedication to becoming a renowned soccer player has been an inspiration to teammates and fans alike.

In The Life and Career of David Beckham: Football Legend, Cultural Icon, Tracey Savell Reavis delivers an up-to-date and refreshing look at one of soccer’s most-recognized athletes. Drawing on extensive research and in-depth interviews, Reavis brings an outside perspective to Beckham’s life in order to reveal his profound impact on the sport in the United States and worldwide. From his birth in Leytonstone, London and his celebrated playing career to his role in bringing the 2012 Olympic Games to London and his retirement from soccer in 2013, Reavis examines the influences that shaped Beckham into the legend he is today.

Featuring photographs and original interviews, this book illuminates Beckham’s status as a soccer star, husband, father, fashion icon, and cultural phenomenon. The first biography since his retirement, The Life and Career of David Beckham will not only appeal to soccer fans, but also to anyone who wants to know more about this international icon.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 256Size: 6 1/4 x 9 3/8
978-1-4422-2992-1 • Hardback • August 2014 • $40.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4422-2993-8 • eBook • August 2014 • $38.00 • (£24.95)
Tracey Savell Reavis is a journalist and sports historian who has worked as a reporter for Sports Illustrated magazine, staff writer for the National Basketball Association, and National Football League writer for CBS Sports. Reavis is a member of the International Society of Olympic Historians.

1. Born to Bend It
2. Becoming a Man United Footballer
3. Forever Red
4. Posh Life
5. Fame, Fortune, and Fashion
6. The Three Lions
7. Spanish Kicks
8. In the U.S. of L.A.
9. L.A. Take 2
10. Lord of the Rings
11. Leave a Legacy

Appendix A: Total Career Stats
Appendix B: Career Milestones
Appendix C: Beckham by the Numbers
Recommended Reading
About the Author
In her introduction, sports journalist Reavis describes herself as 'overjoyed' at the chance to write a book about Beckham, and her admiration comes through on every page. . . .From the free-kick specialist’s promising start to his retirement from play in 2013, covering big games, team changes, and a high-profile personal life, facts and quotes are fully sourced and footnoted. Frequent subheads within chapters quicken the pace, and useful end matter (stats, milestones, a reading list) will make this a useful choice for budding Beckhamologists.

Thorough and easy to read, this work covers soccer star David Beckham’s boyhood success, determination to star for Manchester United, and his high-profile marriage to Spice Girl Victoria Adams, as well as his successful corporate ventures and his selection to the prestigious Order of the British Empire. While it would be easy to begrudge Beckham his many successes, Reavis’s focus on the athlete’s hard work and dedication makes it hard not to root for him. And while sometimes it seems as if the author is fawning over her subject, the classy way in which Beckham handles adversity, such as when his countrymen hated him for receiving a red card in the ’98 World Cup or when his benching by Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello in 2007, drives home the point that the adulation is well earned. Sports historian Reavis works in short nuggets that touch on a wide variety of topics including Beckham’s family, Adams’s backstory, Major League Soccer’s short existence, Olympic traditions, and Old Trafford stadium.Those short asides, plus storytelling, journalism, and quotations from the likes of Prince William, make this a fun look at the life of a good sport who turned soccer stardom into worldwide fame.
Publishers Weekly

It is clear that Reavis took the writing of this biography seriously. While she is a sports journalist, Reavis admits the ignorance of soccer and David Beckham she possessed on receiving this book assignment. Nonetheless, her use of soccer parlance—such as 'pitch,' 'footballer,' and 'Cup Winners Cup'—is nearly spot on, a difficult task for the uninitiated. Additionally, Reavis demonstrates an admirable knowledge of soccer history, such as referencing the Munich air disaster of 1958. . . .
[H]er archival research is quite good.
Journal of Sport History

David Beckham is one of the most famous people in the world, to say nothing of a remarkable athlete, and Tracey Savell Reavis does a fine job of telling Beckham’s life story from boyhood in England to a life that would see him recognized in every country on the planet. There’s a reason that Beckham has resonated with so many people from so many countries, and The Life and Career of David Beckham explains exactly why.
Grant Wahl, Sports Illustrated senior writer, author of The Beckham Experiment

I have had the same questions any average American sports fan has had: what exactly makes David Beckham so idolized inside and outside the soccer world, even in a nation still only casually acquainted with the sport?

That alone drew me to this book, and Tracey Savell Reavis gave me the answer, colorfully and in great detail. She takes us back to the beginning, and beyond, then brings us to his origins, onto his path to greatness, his fall and redemption, and eventually the crossover into the kind of international fame that, in most cases, is impossible to pinpoint or describe.

In doing all of this, the universality of Beckham’s rise comes through, so that anyone who cares about sports gets it, even if he or she has never set foot in England, played “football” or watched an entire game of his.

By the time you finish reading this scrupulously-researched, passionately and smartly-told tale, you will have asked and answered another vital question, even more specific than the aforementioned one … how did an English soccer player get into an underwear commercial during the Super Bowl?

David Steele, sports journalist and co-author of Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith

Tracey Savell Reavis has provided a very captivating, hard to put down story of David Beckham, the player, the teammate, the champion as well as the father and husband. She has captured his early formative years growing up in London and his years playing in England, America, and Europe as he became one of the best known athletes worldwide. She also provides great insight into his failures and his own inner struggles with fame, football, and striving to reach his own lofty vision of himself. Well worth the read.
Tony DiCicco, former USA Women’s National Team Coach, Olympic Gold Medal, World Cup Champion, and U20 World Cup Champion

Beckham fans will love this. Better yet, those who haven't heard about this man, myth, and legend will finally understand what all the fuss was about.
Rob Parker, sports columnist for TheShadowLeague.com