David Beckham has been targeted by hackers who released emails allegedly showing he used charity work as part of a campaign to win a knighthood.

According to emails leaked by Football Leaks, the sport's equivalent of Wiki Leaks, the football legend called the honours committee "unappreciative c****" and ruled out lower awards, saying: "Unless it's a knighthood f*** off."

When contacted by MailOnline, a representative for David Beckham issued an angry denial, saying the emails had been "hacked and doctored" and were therefore misleading.

Football Leaks claimed Beckham admitted in emails that his charity work was part of a conscious effort to win an honour.

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A close adviser also reportedly said his work with UNICEF produced a 'halo effect' for the former star.

Football Leaks also claimed the 41-year-old reacted angrily when friend and PR advisor Simon Oliveira suggested he put 1 million dollars (£800,000) into a prize-giving Unicef dinner in Shanghai.

Beckham allegedly replied: "I don't want to put my personal money into this cause."

Football Leaks claimed he added: "To pour this million into the fund, is like putting my own money in. If there was no fund, the money would be for me. This f****** money is mine."

French investigative site Mediapart, which published the Football Leaks material, alleged that Beckham wanted to use his personal fund - named 7 after his former squad number - to promote his business activities.

"Humanitarian causes were just a stepping-stone for his personal affairs, and to project his image among advertisers," claimed a source close to the leaks.

Football Leaks handles some 18 million confidential documents handled by a consortium of international media, including Mediapart in France.

Like Wikileaks it chooses to "dump" selected documents when it considers the time is appropriate.