21 years ago: Beckham's EPL debut

10 May 1993: David Beckham of Manchester United youth team in action at Old Trafford. Credit: Shaun Botterill/Allsport.
10 May 1993: David Beckham of Manchester United youth team in action at Old Trafford. Credit: Shaun Botterill/Allsport.

Saturday marked 21 years to the day since David Beckham made his English Premier League debut for Manchester United.

A boyhood Man Utd fan, Beckham joined the club as a schoolboy, and graduated from the United academy as one of the fabled 'Class of '92', who won the FA Youth Cup of that year and included Gary and Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt.

Beckham made his Barclays Premier League debut on 2 April, 1995 in a goalless draw with Leeds United but it was the following season that he established himself as a first-team regular on the right of midfield. He announced his arrival with an impudent goal from his own half against Wimbledon in August 1996 that was later voted the Premier League Goal of the Decade in the Premier League's 10 Seasons Awards.

Beckham key BPL stats
Appearances 265
Goals 62
Assists 80
Titles 6
Free-kick goals 15

The midfielder never looked back, his tireless energy, pinpoint crossing, accurate passing and eye for goal, particularly from free-kicks, winning his place in the hearts of the Old Trafford faithful. He won the first of six Barclays Premier League titles in that first season as a Man Utd regular and went on to claim two FA Cup and a UEFA Champions League winner's medal before moving to Real Madrid in 2003.

Beckham is rightly celebrated as one of the most successful players in the BPL and remains a global icon.

A career in numbers

6 - David Beckham won six Barclays Premier League title-winner's medals

15 - David Beckham scored 15 direct free-kicks in the Barclays Premier League, three more than any other player in the competition's history.

11 - Beckham's best goals total in a single BPL season was the 11 he managed in 2001/02.

15 - Beckham assisted 15 league goals in 1999/00, his best total in a single BPL season and one of only 11 times a player has reached 15 in a single campaign.

51 - Between August 1997 and May 2001 Beckham assisted 51 BPL goals, 15 more than the next-best player, Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp.

6 - Favourite opponents: Beckham scored six times against Tottenham Hotspur, and five each against West Ham United and Wimbledon, including the goal from his own half against the Dons.

1,284 - He played the most minutes in the BPL against Leeds United (1284) and Liverpool (1224).

2 - Beckham scored two penalties in the BPL: away at Newcastle United in 2000 and at West Ham in 2002.

2 - Only two players have played more matches for Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League and not been sent off (Ryan Giggs 632, Patrice Evra 273, David Beckham 265)

17 - Of Beckham's first 22 Barclays Premier League goals, 17 (77%) came away from home.

8 - Beckham's first eight assists in the BPL were for eight different players (Lee Sharpe, Giggs, Andy Cole, Eric Cantona, Steve Bruce, Jordi Cruyff, Roy Keane and David May).

11 - Andy Cole benefited from the most Beckham assists in the BPL (11).

1 - The first goalkeeper to concede to Beckham in the BPL was future team-mate Mark Bosnich.

- NZ Herald

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