Clevedon Town U18s coach Dave Carey recalls historic visit of David Beckham
PUBLISHED: 20:57 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 21:25 19 February 2020
“It’s been absolutely incredible for the club, there’s not many things historically that Clevedon have had bigger than David Beckham coming to watch a game.”
So said Clevedon Town under-18s coach Dave Carey, who along with Micky Bell began last Wednesday just like any other day with a game lined up that night against Millfield School under-18s.
But by the end of the night hundreds had showed up and with it started a media craze that would take over the town and put the club in the spotlight.
The young Seasiders were in action for the first time since defeating Elmore on January 27 and with a game not scheduled until February 24 at Street, a friendly was announced with Millfield.
Bad weather had meant the original match was postponed two days earlier before being rearranged for February 12.
Only a handful of people were in attendance at the Everyone Active Stadium, including Bristol City's stalwart Brian Tinnion, whose goal famously knocked out Liverpool in the FA Cup at Anfield, and tweeted out to his social media followers 'Nice to see David Beckham at Clevedon Town FC watching his son Romeo playing for Millfield School and he is good'.
Carey said: "I saw a message actually on Facebook that he had been spotted in Tesco getting a snack and we knew that Romeo went to Millfield, so I put two and two together and I thought maybe he had been there.
"He was there at the beginning of the game. From then on in people were just flooding in,
"At one point David Beckham went round the other side of the ground because Romeo was playing on the other wing where he was stood on his own.
"And club secretary Eric Howe cut off the stand so he could just watch the game without being hassled by all the fans.
"He said that he would come meet and greet with people afterwards but he just wanted to watch his son play football. So he was left in peace. The club did really well on that part and they just let him enjoy the game."
The former England captain and Manchester United midfielder stayed behind for up to an hour afterwards, signing autographs and posing for pictures.
And Carey, who has only been in the role for a month alongside Ben Obamwonyi - who was unable to make the Millfield game after stepping in for first-team player Mike Dangerfield - says he couldn't have been any friendlier and how his appearance at the club has given everyone a 'huge boost.'
"That's why he is as popular as he is," Carey told the North Somerset Times.
"He appreciates his fans and he had every right to come out of the side exit to go to his car and go home, but he was more than happy to hang around and chat with everybody and take countless selfies. It just shows the character of the man."
Goals from Iggy Blazquez, Cole Campbell, Josh Morgan and two from Miles Calvert helped the Clevedon teenagers win 5-3.
"For any small club, wherever it might be, for us it's huge," added Carey.
"How many people will have heard of Clevedon Town before and it was in every news outlet (Thursday).
"Hopefully we will get a nice little boost and we will get a few more bums on seats."
Clevedon next play at home against Weston on Monday March 9 and Carey said: "For those watching it was a really good game of football and the group I have at the moment are doing really well.
"Any extra support is always wanted it's absolutely great for the club and for the under 18s."
Despite the match being held a week ago, Carey admits the club still hasn't got over it yet.
"For a small club it's massive to have something like that," he added. "I don't think it's entirely sunk in just yet if I'm honest. I was chatting to the other coaches at training (Thursday night) and they said in six months time we are going to sit back and think that actually happened, he came along to watch. It will feel a bit more feel then. It's madness."
But coverage from the BBC, Sky Sports News and other well-known organisations will all serve as a reminder of a day which will go down as one of the greatest in the history of Clevedon Town Football Club.
The day a former England captain, who has brought so much cheer on the pitch, also brought so much off it on one night in north Somerset.
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