Becks signs for Bury school
MEETING soccer superstar David Beckham during a ceremony to receive a CBE from the Queen would give most of us butterflies in the stomach.But one Suffolk headteacher kept a cool head to bag the England football captain's autograph for his school's Christmas charity auction - just minutes before receiving his award.
MEETING soccer superstar David Beckham during a ceremony to receive a CBE from the Queen would give most of us butterflies in the stomach.
But one Suffolk headteacher kept a cool head to bag the England football captain's autograph for his school's Christmas charity auction - just minutes before receiving his award.
Adrian Williams, of County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds, was at Buckingham Palace last Thursdayto collect his CBE, which was announced in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List.
To the surprise and delight of both himself and his family, none other than the Real Madrid star and his wife Victoria were also in the Palace's impressive ballroom, collecting the sporting hero's OBE.
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"The 1,000 or so winners are divided between 10 days during the year, so we only had a small chance of meeting Beckham, but we heard on the radio on Thursday morning he was flying in to receive his award that day," said Mr Williams, who was honoured for services to education.
"I went to get a postcard of Buckingham Palace from the hotel shop and asked if he could autograph it so I could auction it at school as part of our annual Christmas charity fortnight.
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"We were both waiting in the same room before we received our Honours, so I just went straight up to him and asked. He was absolutely charming – very self-effacing and quiet – and conducted himself through the whole thing admirably.
"He said it was the biggest award he had received in his life, and did not expect any special celebrity treatment. Beckham was just a normal guy – only he had about half-a-million pounds worth of jewellery on," joked Mr Williams.
Beckham was accompanied to the Palace by Posh who wore a hat worthy of Ladies Day at Newmarket Races and his grandparents Joseph and Peggy.
Mr Williams was joined by his wife Janet, 28-year-old son Daniel and daughter Alice, 19.
Unfortunately, due to strict rules, only allow three guests were allowed into the ceremony, his other daughter, Rachel, 25, had to wait outside.
"It was a fantastic experience, and almost magical and surrealistic. The whole thing was just wonderful – an unforgettable day and a once in a lifetime experience," added Mr Williams, who supports Ipswich Town.
"Since I found out in June, the whole thing has seemed like a dream. It is not until it has actually happened you realise you have been honoured.
"The Queen spoke to everybody she handed an awards to, and she asked about our school. I told her that the day was a particularly proud one for me because my father had been given an MBE in Her Majesty's first ever Birthday Honours list in 1952, for services to the transport system in Bristol.
"That made it even more wonderful to be appointed in the golden jubilee year of her coronation, and she said it showed great family continuity. She was very nice and pleasant.
"My family also had a lovely time, and all held hands as I went up to collect the MBE. It was certainly a bonus to meet the England soccer captain, and I just hope the signed postcard raises a lot of money.
"We are receiving bids for it during the next 10 days, but if it doesn't fetch as much as we had hoped, I will buy it back for my daughter Alice, who says Beckham is the most beautiful man she has ever seen!"