The spontaneous David Beckham road trip
On Thursday 16th May 2013, David Beckham announced that he was retiring as a footballer.
By midnight that night, Me and my Sister had decided we would be going to France, to watch his final home game for Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday night.
Could we do this?… we had asked ourselves. It would be by far the most spontaneous thing that either of us had ever done! Had we the time to drive to Paris and back in a weekend?… neither of us could really afford it… there wasn’t even any guarantee that he would feature in the match! The idea seemed crazy!
Both being such fans of his, my Sister had always wanted to see him play, we knew that we would regret it if we didn’t at least try.
The decision was too difficult! We even flipped a coin at one point… but with 3 heads in a row (David Beckham was heads… because he has a head… logic dictates) it seemed even the coins were willing us to go!
Life’s too short. We decided we were going to do it!
And with that, last minute match tickets, a hotel and the Eurotunnel were all found and booked!
France, here we come!
After a long drive and one sleepless train journey under the sea, we arrived in Calais at around 2pm, and began the further 3hr drive to Paris. But the sun was shining and the countryside looked glorious! As the afternoon and the city approached the clouds came overhead, but it didn’t matter, we still couldn’t believe we were doing this! My first experience of driving the Arc de Triomphe roundabout is one I won’t be forgetting any time soon… every man or woman for themselves and who needs lanes, road markings, or even to drive it a circle!
After checking into the hotel, we decided it was probably best that we start walking in the direction of the stadium, not knowing exactly how long it would take to get there and needing to collect our tickets before the game. It wasn’t too long before we began seeing more and more people walking in that general direction and the excitement and anticipation began to build! The stadium appeared…
The Parc des Princes
Things were going to plan; the drive, the hotel, we had arrived at the stadium on time, collected our tickets… but as we took our seats still the biggest detail of all alluded us. Would David Beckham play?
As the teams made their way on to the pitch for the warm-up, we soon got our answer that he was at least in the team selection!
Then came the starting 11 announcement. He was in!! and not only that, but the players and coach had made him Captain for the night!
The atmosphere inside the stadium was incredible! PSG had already secured the French Ligue 1 title (their first in 19 years!) in the previous away game and this was clearly the time to celebrate!
The PSG fans didn’t stop singing all night
PSG themselves put on a confident display and would eventually go on to win the game 3-1.
We got to enjoy 81 minutes of watching David Beckham play…
before he was substituted for a celebratory ovation. The match stopped as he turned 360 to thank the supporters and begin his final walk from the playing field. Team mates crowded round to embrace him and join in the applause that rang out from the fans in honour of a true footballing hero and legend. The support shown towards him in the stadium was a joy to behold!
When the match was over the entertainment continued as the Ligue 1 trophy celebrations kicked off with music, lights shows, flames and fireworks. The fans welcomed the players back into the stadium individually as they were called up to the podium. David Beckham took this moment to thank everybody for his time at the club. With the team fully assembled PSG lifted the silver wear and were crowned Champions of France!
The celebrations were incredible!
David Beckham was lifted into the air and joined by his three boys on the pitch as the players took to a lap of honour to thank the fans for their support.
It had been an incredible night. Walking back to the hotel we genuinely couldn’t have asked for anything more from it! Yes it had been a long trip, and yes we still had the return journey ahead of us, but we had done it and it had been even better than we could have imagined!
The following morning we took in the Eiffel Tower and stopped off in a coffee shop for breakfast before leaving Paris at around 10.00am for the Eurotunnel home. The sun was shining by the time we reached Calais and was there to welcome us as we drove off the train into Folkestone; where we had set off from only 26hours earlier.
Never give up on your dreams.