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Is it possible from the chart to separate the run-of-the-mill football player from the exceptional talent who goes on to become a superstar in the sport? Here are two bankable pinups that have dominated the headlines with news of their sporting prowess and personal lives.
Born 2 May 1975, 06:17 GDT, Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, London, England (51N29, 0W00). Source: From the biography ‘David Beckham My Son’ by Ted Beckham, p.10 (Boxtree, 2005).
Beckham is the superstar footballer of Manchester United (1992-2003) who now plays for Real Madrid (17/6/2003 to present). Beckham signed a contract with Manchester United Youth Club on 8 July 1991, and became a household name in August 1996 when he scored a spectacular goal in a match against Wimbledon. He has attained god-like status in the world’s media, despite past criticism of fouling tactics and play (e.g., his role in the World Cup 1998). Following Kevin Keegan’s resignation as England manager in October 2000, Beckham was promoted to team captain of England. He began dating part-time singer/clotheshorse Victoria Adams (born 17 April 1975, Hertfordshire) of the Spice Girls in 1998, and on 4 July 1999 ‘Posh and Becks’ married. Beckham has also been headline news for his choice of effeminate attire and jewellery, his ever-changing image, highly lucrative sponsorship deals, and an alleged affair with PA Rebecca Loos, which did much to damage the Beckham ‘brand’ when the story broke in April 2004.
Born 14 December 1979, 22:20 GMT, Chester, England (53N12, 2W54). Source: From his autobiography ‘Off the Record’, p.7 (Collins Willow, 2004).
Michael Owen is the hugely popular striker who was introduced to football at age 7. Later known for his speed, acceleration and clinical finishing, Owen signed his first senior team contract with Liverpool in December 1996. In February 1998, he made an impact on the world sporting stage as the youngest player that century to represent England. In August 2005, Owen signed a four-year deal with Newcastle United. Owen married his childhood sweetheart Louise on 25 June 2005, following a number of difficulties in his personal life (including a kidnapping attempt on his sister, attempted blackmail over untrue sex allegations, the suicide of a close friend, and reports in March 2004 of his gambling addition).