Don’t tell anyone, but this is only Beckham’s 85th cap
Paris in the early spring – perfect for a few days’ break, and as long as you are not drowning in credit crunch debt, it is still the most wonderful city to go shopping for the latest fashions.
“You’d like a cap to go with that Armani suit, monsieur? Certainly, I have just the thing. These caps have not gone out of fashion since 1872 … suits you perfectly.”
Of course David Beckham does not have to go shopping for his latest England cap, he will be awarded it in the time honoured fashion of a special delivery from the headquarters of the Football Association.
I think it’s rather fantastic that in this age of the iPod, Xbox and Blackberry, England players still get a cap for playing for their country, just as they have done since the very first international against Scotland in 1872.
The FA tells me the same company that made the caps then still makes them today — but here’s something not too many people know.
David Beckham’s appearance against France means he will have played for England 100 times, making him only the fifth English player to do that, but he will be awarded just his 85th cap.
Players are awarded one cap for every match they play — unless they play in a World Cup or European Championship finals tournament. Then they are given just ONE cap to cover all the matches they play in that competition — with the names of all their opponents stitched into the fabric of the cap itself.
Beckham appeared in 20 of England’s 21 matches at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups and the 2000 and 2004 European championships. One cap was awarded for each of those five tournaments — which actually leaves him 15 short of 100 actual caps. Odd, but true.
Still, he is convinced he can make a valuable contribution for England until the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa as long as England qualify and if he does that he could also be in view of Peter Shilton’s record of 125 appearances.
Now how many caps did HE actually get…
Mike Collett, Reuters Football Correspondent, Paris
PHOTO: Beckham attends a news conference at the team hotel in Watford, March 24, 2008. REUTERS/ Eddie Keogh