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I'M A BIG SOFTIE; Becks is moved to tears as hundreds of children mob him on school visit.

Byline: ROSA PRINCE in Tokyo

DAVID Beckham was moved to tears yesterday after being mobbed by adoring children during a trip to a Tokyo primary school.

The England captain, 28, welled up on day three of his tour of the Far East and later blamed it on an emotional streak inherited from his mother Sandra.

He stepped out into the playground at Tsuksi primary school and caught sight of the 500 excited faces waiting for him, then he began to cry.

Unabashed, but wiping his eyes every few seconds, he walked among them as they reached out to him.

Later, in a TV interview, he talked about his tears: "I am very emotional. When I watch a sad film I have to go into another room and cry. I think I get it from my mum but the children at the school this morning were just so cute. I've always loved children, even before I had my own."

Thousand of screaming fans who tried to climb the school's fence had to be held back by police as Becks spent 30 minutes signing autographs and playing a game of kick-about.

Asked how he kept smiling when confronted with mob hysteria, Becks said: "It's so amazing. I'm a smiley person naturally, always in a good mood.

"I am really excited about moving to Real. My Spanish is not bad, I can say a few things - well, "hola" and how to ask for the bill."

On leaving Manchester United, he added: "The fans and players are the ones I will miss.

"But now I have a new set of players and I will be friends with them and soon a new set of fans."

Meanwhile, wife Victoria, 29, was also wowing the Tokyo crowd in a black satin dress as she visited two exclusive boutiques owned by Samantha Tiara.

Excited teenage girls chanted "Posh, Posh, Posh" and held up mobile phone cameras to get a photograph as she got out of her black limousine, .

Giggling, Victoria turned the tables by holding a camcorder up to the window and filming them.

She would not allow Sir Alex Ferguson's claims that she turned Beckham from a footballer into a fashion icon to ruin her day.

Asked about her relationship with Sir Alex, she joked: "Relationship? What relationship?

"I'm not having a relationship with Sir Alex... I have met him a few times and he's always been very polite to me. I think David has proved how talented he is."

During his visit to the school, Beckham wore a T-shirt with the logo of the Meiji chocolate firm. One onlooker said: "It may seem strange for him to be promoting chocolate at a school but everyone knows he's the face of Meiji so I can't see it does much harm."

Earlier a 15ft chocolate statue of him was unveiled, prompting a chuckle from the England star. Again he spoke of his love of children and his plan to run soccer schools.

He said: "When I retire I don't want to be a manager or a coach. I want to have soccer schools in Japan, Korea, China, America, England and Spain.

"I want to have soccer schools all around the world, not just for boys but for girls, where they can stay off the streets, be safe, enjoy themselves and hopefully become footballers. That's my dream, to have soccer schools around the world."

On another TV show, Becks had his bluff called by local comedians, who insisted he eat sushi. He claimed he loved the raw fish dish but said he hadn't had the chance to eat it yet so had cheeseburger and chips for two nights running.

When suddenly confronted with a plate, he manfully wolfed it down. "I am looking forward to eating paella in Spain when I start at Real Madrid," he said.

Beckham was written out of Old Trafford history weeks before his pounds 25million transfer. His face is missing from leaflets publicising this year's membership scheme, printed before he left. United deny the decision was deliberate but one fan said yesterday: "It seemed people at the club already knew he was leaving weeks before the supporters were told."

Meanwhile, Real have taken on extra staff to deal with the 15,000 letters expected to arrive for him every week.


CRYING GAME: Beckham at school; Pictures: JAMES VELLACOTT; BECKSMANIA: Hundreds of children reach out for their footballing hero David Beckham yesterday during his visit to the Tsuksi primary school in Tokyo; POSH FROCK: Yesterday in Tokyo; PICTURE THIS: Becks; FAN SPOTTING: Posh
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 21, 2003
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