The secret behind Beckham's famous goal
Twenty-five years ago today (17 August), the opening day of the 1996/97 Premier League season was memorable for David Beckham's stupendous long-range goal against Wimbledon.
There was a secret behind the shot that launched the homegrown Manchester United midfielder into superstardom, however, as he caught keeper Neil Sullivan off his line with the most audacious of efforts from the halfway line.
The strike will forever be replayed but do you know about the adidas Predator boots he wore at Selhurst Park?
Before the game in London, the young Red had heard good things about the boots that were taking the game by storm. Keen to borrow a pair, the only size eights available were earmarked for Rangers ace Charlie Miller.
Hence, they had the name 'Charlie' stitched into the tongue when they were despatched to Becks.
Writing in his autobiography, Beckham recalled: “Before the game, I was getting stick about my new boots. Adidas sent me a pair of Predator boots but they had been made for Charlie Miller.
“The word 'Charlie' was stitched on the tongues of the boots and the other players spotted that right away.”
Miller had been voted Scottish Young Player of the Year in 1995 and would later go on to represent Leicester City and Watford, among other clubs.
In an interview with the Daily Record, Miller said: “Paul Gascoigne and I signed a boot deal with adidas at the start of the 1996 season.
“Gazza got his but an adidas rep called to say that David Beckham needed a pair urgently and mine were the only ones that fitted him. But I can't honestly say that my boots helped him score that goal. Becks could score goals like that with wellies on!”
Beckham, who had been handed the no.10 shirt, cemented his place in the United side that season after his strike was the final one in a 3-0 victory in the capital.
He made his England debut against Moldova in the following month and earned the PFA Young Player of the Year award as United won the league.
“It changed my life,” he said of the goal. “The ball seemed to be in the air for hours and it all went quiet. Then the ball went in and it just erupted.”