Man Utd journalists David Beckham memories 30 years on from his 1992 debut

Steve Bartram

In football terms, little ices the blood quicker than an inspired opposing goalkeeper and, on 15 May 1999 (AKA part one of the Treble), all the early signs suggested a mortifyingly inspired day in store for Tottenham’s Ian Walker, whose first-half procession of reflex saves and fortunate ricochets was punctuated solely by Les Ferdinand prodding the visitors into a completely undeserved, script-shredding lead.

With a season’s work on the line, Becks corrected the terrifying new narrative and put events back on course with an unstoppable effort just before half-time. Picking up the ball on the right side of the box, everything was against him: unforgiving angle, unbearable tension, unbeatable goalkeeper. But, under the highest pressure imaginable, he chose that moment to produce a moment of pure brilliance, crashing a finish high into the far top corner to spread mayhem around Old Trafford.

I’ve seen some scenes of celebration here, but the sheer, unbridled joy and relief of that moment remains unforgettable. As a player who wrung every drop of talent and endeavour from himself for Manchester United, it was only fair that such a priceless moment – for me, his signature moment – should forever belong to David Beckham.

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