Easily one of the most recognisable football players of all time, the premium for David Beckham football shirts have gone through the roof.
As we briefly explored in our previous article about the Classic Football Shirts store, a recent rise in popularity for old-school garments have thrusted our love of nostalgia into the limelight – even if against our better judgement. Where our personal love for players lead to a search for a timepiece associated with where that love spawns.
Plus, given that things were just better ‘back in the day’, the designs themselves for a lot of these pieces were just better, too. And in this case, it’s David Beckham we’re talking about; who’s not just for his skills on the pitch, but also for his impeccable fashion sense.
DISCLAIMER: Though you may not have to dig very far for shirts representing a player like Becks, we are putting in this notice to remind you that this article at Hobby FC is not seeking to displace sound, financial advice. Please seek appropriate guidance before delving into your pockets. No matter how tempting it is!
Which are the best David Beckham Football Shirts?
Throughout his career, he’s given us some great jerseys to remember him by. In this article, we’ll take a look at the five most iconic David Beckham football shirts, the reasons we love them and how deep we’d have to dig to find them!
Manchester United Home Shirt (1996-1998)
David Beckham began his professional career at Manchester United in 1992 – you know, with the famous ‘Class of __’. However, it was during the 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 seasons that he wore the most memorable Manchester United home shirt of his own Premier League career.
The shirt featured a bold red design with a white collar and cuffs. The kit was made by Umbro and featured the famous Sharp logo on the chest. And I know a large number of United fans who wish that the main sponsor would return. Among many other things, it must be said!
During the 1996-1997 season, Beckham helped Manchester United win the Premier League title. He also scored that goal from the halfway line in a match against Wimbledon. The goal was not only voted Goal of the Season by the BBC, but legend has it that goalkeeper Neil Sullivan is still trying to track back to his line.
In the following year, Beckham helped Manchester United win a historic treble, which included the Premier League title, the FA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League. He scored a crucial goal in the final of the FA Cup against Arsenal, which helped Manchester United win the match 2-0. Not bad.
England Away Shirt (2002)
David Beckham’s performances for England in the 2002 World Cup made him a national hero. England reached the quarter-finals of the tournament, and Beckham played a key role in their success. He scored a penalty against Argentina in the group stage, which helped England win the match 1-0.
Lest we forget, Beckham had suffered a little bit of a nightmare against the Argentine’s in the prior tournament. Well, when I say ‘a little bit’, I mean that there were effigies burned in the streets following his ‘childish’ lash out at Diego Simeone which resulted in him being sent off in ‘98.
Did he deserve it? Was it harsh? Probably depends on who you support.
We could have easily selected the home jersey for this, though the away version (like the other David Beckham football shirts here), help to bring the nameset to life. The shirt featured a dark blue design with a red collar and cuffs. The kit was also made by Umbro and featured the famous Three Lions logo on the chest.
He wore this while stroking in a wonderful free-kick against Argentina in the group stage, which was a particular highlight. The goal was voted Goal of the Tournament by FIFA. A tale of two World Cups for good ol’ Becks, wouldn’t you agree?
Real Madrid Home Shirt (2003-2004)
In 2003, David Beckham left Manchester United to join Real Madrid. It’s one of my favourite football ‘ripple effect’ stories (shout out, James Allcott). To keep it brief, it started with Sir Alex Ferguson calling for more professionalism in the United camp.
The word was that ‘off-field antics’ were beginning to get in the way, and Barcelona offered Beckham a route out of Old Trafford. United meanwhile, were ready to settle for Ronaldinho as his replacement. However at the eleventh hour, a free-spending Real Madrid pounced and stole Beckham for themselves with a higher offer.
He went to Madrid and Barcelona reacted by pinching Ronaldinho away from United. The English club, left the most scorned by this ordeal, had to make do with some Portuguese lad from Sporting Lisbon. Can’t remember his name, though! Find out more about that story here.
Beckham spent four seasons at the club, and that famous Real Madrid jersey from the 2003/04 season is arguably the most memorable of all the David Beckham shirts outside of England. Adidas-made. Siemens on the front. Black and gold name. Yes.
LA Galaxy Home Shirt (2007-08)
The LA Galaxy Home Shirt that David Beckham wore during the 2007-2008 season is another cult classic. This was Beckham’s first season playing for the club, and he quickly established himself as a key player for the American franchise, and for the league as a whole.
The shirt itself is a simple white design, with the LA Galaxy crest prominently displayed on the chest. Beckham’s number 23 is once again featured on the back of the shirt, and the Herbalife logo is prominently displayed on the front.
Fun fact: The Herbalife logo had a particularly annoying issue of coming away from the front, hence why so few are in existence nowadays in pristine condition. So, if you do happen upon one that looks fair enough to the untrained eye, then you may just have a good’un on your hands worth adding to your collection.
What makes this shirt so iconic is not only its striking design, but also the fact that it represents a significant moment in Beckham’s career. His move to the LA Galaxy marked a new chapter in his life, and for the MLS in general.
As we explored in this article here, it was a trailblazing moment for one of the world’s biggest and best footballers to ply their trade in an unknown league. The likes of Pele, Eusebio and George Best tried and failed with the NASL a few decades ago and Beckham was taking a real leap of faith here. Thankfully, it paid off.
Manchester United 1998/99 Home Shirt
The 1998/99 season was a historic one for Manchester United, as they won the treble (Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League) – still the only English team to do so unless Pep’s merry men get their way this season.
David Beckham played a crucial role in the team’s success, scoring 6 goals and providing 18 assists in all competitions. He also sent in both corners in the famous final against Bayern in the Champions League Final. The team’s home shirt that season has therefore become synonymous with the treble-winning team.
The shirt features the iconic red and white stripes of Manchester United, with a black collar and cuffs. The club’s crest is embroidered on the left chest, while the Sharp logo is featured on the centre of the shirt. The treble-winning season is also embroidered below the club crest, commemorating the team’s historic achievement.
Realistically, the Champions League version is the best. With a specialised namset and the proud UEFA badge on the sleeves, it adds something new and unique to an already-incredible shirt.
Having recently made the Premier League Hall of Fame shortlist, it’s easy to look for English David Beckham football shirts when searching for nostalgia or value, but with every passing year that this record goes unscathed, it might increase!
Of all the David Beckham football shirts on this list, it’s pretty easy to simply go for any of them as a viable option to add to your collection.
It’s also worth mentioning that a career as celebrated as his has even more options in the warchest than the ones we’ve gone through today, so if you have any that we may have forgotten, let us know in the comments below. Or by Tweeting us using the hashtag ‘HobbyFC’.