David Beckham has revealed young players were forced to perform “a funny dance” in front of senior professionals at Manchester United as a punishment for stepping out of line.
The former England captain was asked about the current child sex abuse scandal in football during his appearance on BBC Radio Four’s Desert Island Discs.
“There was never anything at Manchester United and it is disgraceful what has gone on and there has to be something done about it,” he told presenter Kirsty Young.
“The closest part would have been certain professionals that if we had gone out of line they would have made us do a funny dance in the middle of the changing room in front of the professionals, in front of our heroes at the time.”
Beckham said it was humiliating, adding: “That was all it was, but that was just to teach us a lesson – there was never any wrong-doing.”
The 41-year-old signed for the Premier League club aged 16 and was part of the Class of ’92 which included Ryan Giggs, Gary and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes.
In a wide-ranging interview on the 75th anniversary edition of Desert Island Discs, which is being broadcast on Sunday at 11.15am, Beckham did not pick a single record from his wife Victoria’s Spice Girls discography.
Beckham, who is an ambassador for Unicef, said he keeps all his England caps at his house and his “precious” medals in a safe in a bank.
“I have so many pairs of boots, over a thousand pairs of boots. I keep them in storage. They are in boxes.”
Asked by Young if it competes with Victoria’s shoe collection he replied: “It does actually.”
Beckham said his mother and father had made many sacrifices over the years in order to achieve his dream of being a footballer. However getting praise from his father was rare.
“I knew that my dad would always be proud of my achievements. The only time my dad turned round to me and said ‘you know what son, you have done really well’ was when I got my 100th cap for England.
“It makes me emotional. Everybody wants to make their parents proud.”
Beckham admitted it was difficult when he started dating the then Victoria Adams, given their celebrity status. He said her manager Simon Fuller wanted to keep the relationship quiet so the footballer used to drive to see his new girlfriend in his “amazing bright blue” BMW.
“We used to sit in a Harvester car park and we just used to kiss, of course, and spend time together,” he said.
The father-of-four stressed how important his family was to him and they have worked together “as a unit” through difficult periods and “mistakes over the years”.
“Do we stay together because it’s a brand? Of course not, we stay together because we love each other. We stay together because we have four amazing children.”
Beckham revealed he was “shocked and devastated” when he found out United were selling him to Real Madrid in 2003.
“I honestly did not watch Manchester United play for three years,” he said.