On this day: David Beckham unveils new haircut in Manchester United win

Ryan Giggs and David Beckham celebrate the latter's goal for Manchester United against Leicester City on March 18, 2000.
© Getty Images
Fourteen years ago today, David Beckham, with a new hairstyle that infuriated Sir Alex Ferguson, scores in Manchester United's 2-0 win over Leicester City.

It's well known that Sir Alex Ferguson partly allowed David Beckham to depart Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2003 because he'd grown disillusioned with the life that the winger was leading off the pitch.

From the moment that he started dating 'Posh Spice' Victoria Adams in 1997, the paparazzi could not get enough of the England international.

That sort of attention had started to exasperate Ferguson by the time that United made the trip to Leicester City's Filbert Street 14 years ago today. From the moment that the Scot met with his players, Beckham's actions were a cause of irritation.

In his recent autobiography, Ferguson revealed: "Arriving at the training ground at 3pm before a trip to Leicester City, I noticed the press lined up on the road into Carrington. There must have been 20 photographers. 'What's going on?' I demanded. I was told, 'apparently Beckham is revealing his new haircut tomorrow.'

"David turned up with a beanie hat on. At dinner that night he was still wearing it. 'David, take your beanie hat off, you're in a restaurant,' I said. He refused. 'Don't be so stupid,' I persisted. 'Take it off.' But he wouldn't, so I was raging.

"The next day, the players were going out for the pre-match warm-up and David had his beanie hat on. 'David.' I said, 'you're not going out with that beanie hat on, you'll not be playing. I'll take you out of the team right now.' He went berserk. Took it off. Bald head, completely shaved. The plan was that he would keep the beanie hat on and take it off just before kickoff. At the time I was starting to despair of him. I could see him being swallowed up by the media or publicity agents."

Despite his manager's dissatisfaction, the unveiling of the new style could not have gone much better for Beckham, who curled in the opening goal of the match in the 33rd minute. In celebration, Beckham stood on the spot, arms out wide, to allow the photographers to get their shots, while teammate Ryan Giggs rubbed where his long locks had once been.

The visiting Red Devils continued to dominate Leicester after the restart, but it wasn't until the 83rd minute that the three points were secured when Dwight Yorke fired in his 15th goal of the season, sending United seven points clear of Leeds United at the top of the table in the process.

LEICESTER: Flowers; Elliott, Taggart, Sinclair, Guppy; Eadie (Marshall), Lennon, Izzet, Oakes (Cottee), Savage; Collymore

MAN UNITED: Bosnich; G Neville, Berg, Stam, Irwin; Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Giggs (Butt); Yorke, Cole (Sheringham)

Mikael Silvestre celebrates scoring for Manchester United against Leicester City on March 17, 2001.
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