Pompey’s youngsters had David Beckham bursting into applause as they impressed at Arsenal.
With the former England captain standing on the sidelines watching his son Cruz, the Pompey under-11s acquitted themselves well against their illustrious opponents.
With Academy football divided into quarters to allow more coaching contact, the young Blues left Arsenal’s Hale End base undefeated after a 6-6 draw across the four 20-minute periods.
But Beckham was among those to appreciate the quality of Pompey’s third goal, netted by Connor Richardson after a fine team move.
Pompey head of foundation, Hugh Lewis, said: ‘A few of the kids were buzzing that they had seen David Beckham before the game.
‘I didn’t make much of it but then I went out to do the warm-up and someone pointed out Cruz Beckham.
‘David then appeared, dressed very casually and stood with all the rest of the parents on the sideline.
‘He’s a megastar so it was very bizarre to see him there with the other mums and dads.
‘We told the lads to ignore him and focus on the game, which was difficult as they were all very starstruck and excited – as were some of the mums!
‘But the highlight of the day was our third goal. There was some great one-touch passing and Connor scored.
‘All of the parents were applauding, including David Beckham, who was smiling away. I told the lads that David Beckham had applauded their performance, so that was nice for them.’
After a quick post-match team talk, the young guns seized their chance.
Lewis added: ‘We were having a chat and they were all very distracted so I let them go.
‘They managed to catch him up and had pictures taken. It was an old-fashioned bundle.
‘He was gracious enough to have a few photos and had a chat to a few of the lads.
‘He seems like such a nice guy. He must get that all the time but he is just not the type of person to say “go away and leave me alone”.
– STEVE WILSON