Team-mate Paul Scholes, who some would say was an even better player, has also announced his retirement and it’s likely that another, 40 year-old Ryan Giggs, will hang up his boots too as he contemplates a new (and unsentimental) manager at Manchester United in David Moyes.
Sports stars are still deemed to be very valuable to their sponsors even in retirement; Michael Jordan is as big a star as ever in the US and Nike has just announced that 43 year-old Andre Agassi, who retired from tennis nearly a decade ago, is to make a triumphant return to the company from Adidas.
But Becks is slightly different. He’s valued as much for his good looks and shapely limbs as his ability to guide a football.
But Dave is a decent sort too; as you can see in this rather stilted ‘retirement’ exchange with former team-mate Gary Neville (now a Sky pundit), both of whom would probably still prefer to be booting a football.
And will no doubt remain a valued property in the world of marketing (Beckham kit sales are estimated to have pulled in over $2bn in revenue over his years with Man U, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy and, latterly, Paris St Germain where it became obvious that the famous legs were not responding quite as rapidly to the brain’s promptings as he might have wished).
But his employers and their agencies will need to be a bit more creative in the way they use him; notably PepsiCo which doesn’t seem able to do very much intelligently these days.