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She changed him; FERGIE: WHY I HAD TO SELL SHOWBIZ BECKS.

Byline: GARY JONES

SIR Alex Ferguson has at last revealed the real reason he fell out with David Beckham - the soccer star's wife Victoria.

The Manchester United manager claims Becks became a "different person" after his marriage to the former Spice Girl.

Fergie, who has never disguised his dislike of Victoria, said: "He was blessed with great stamina, the best of all the players I've had here.

"After training, he'd always be practising, practising, practising.

"But his life changed when he met his wife.

"She's in pop and David got another image. He's developed this 'fashion thing'. I saw his transition to a different person."

Sir Alex, 61, made the revelations to US magazine Sports Illustrated. They give an insight into why he sold the England captain to Real Madrid for pounds 25m this week.

After guiding him up the ranks at Old Trafford Fergie became increasingly irritated by Beckham's celebrity lifestyle.

The star's double life as player and style icon was on display yesterday as he and Posh continued a promotional tour in Japan and were mobbed by screaming fans who have dubbed the football ace Bekkamu.

Towards the end of last season Sir Alex kept his star player on the bench for several important matches.

But yesterday Becks tried to end rumours that he was unhappy with how his sale to the top Spanish club was handled.

At an early morning press conference in Tokyo he said he wished the deal had been done "a little bit differently".

But last night he insisted he had only been referring to the fact Real were still playing to win the Spanish League.

The team top the Primera Division by two points but must win on Sunday to secure the title.

Before the deal was struck, the star was reportedly furious at being offered for sale to Barcelona without being told.

But David released a statement last night saying: "I understand reports are circulating that I was unhappy with some aspects of my transfer from Manchester United.

"That is not the case and I did not mean to give that impression in any way.

"I have publicly expressed my thanks and appreciation for the way the deal has been done by the club, my advisers and Real Madrid."

CAPTION(S):

STARS: Posh and Becks in Tokyo Beauty Centre advertisement unveiled yesterday; FALL OUT: Ferguson
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 20, 2003
Words:393
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