Gordon Sharrock: Leicester lacks X-Factor that Beckhams require

First published in Sport

CAJOLED by my 15-yearold granddaughter, I sat through an entire edition of X-Factor on Saturday night for the first time.

It was not my cup of tea, far from it in fact, but I can see why it tops the popularity ratings. The programme was superbly packaged, brilliantly produced and, as far as the search-for-a-star format goes, it ticked all the boxes – especially when it came to the heart-rending scenes when wannabe pop stars literally collapsed in tears when they were rejected.

Such devastation, you would have been forgiven for thinking they had just been told of the death of a loved one rather than being stopped in their tracks on the road to stardom and celebrity status.

Apparently X-Factor success can be a life-changing experience but, for my money, the scores of rejects should thank their lucky stars, because if a place in celebrity circles means having to prejudice your talent and principles, they are better off out of it.

Take the Beckhams.

David is a genuine superstar, a footballing icon whose prospects of captaining the GB squad at next summer’s Olympics have prompted him to consider a move back to Europe, where a host of clubs would love to tap into his talent and experience – provided the location suits the needs of his wife, Victoria. And boy, does she have needs! According to Sven-Goran Eriksson, Posh effectively vetoed the former England boss’s attempt to take him to Leicester.

Never mind what dear David thought about the offer, Posh delivered the withering riposte that wouldn’t have gone down well with Foxes fans: “Sven, can you really see me in Leicester?”.

In fairness I can’t, but I can certainly see Beckham playing in Europe again, even at the age of 36, and, no disrespect to Sven’s Leicester, at an even higher level than the Championship. But if he can only go where his celebrity wife will be happy, only clubs in the fashion capitals of London, Paris, Milan and Madrid need apply.

Talking of celebs, what about Peter Crouch’s missus? The big lad did for Manchester United on Saturday when he headed Stoke’s equaliser to end the Reds’ 100 per cent start to the season.

The Potters’ £10 million signing from Spurs deserved the adulation of delighted fans at the Britannia Stadium and the headlines that dominated the sports pages, but he must have been embarrassed as hell when he heard his missus, the lovely Abbey Clancy, had tweeted “Well done hubby . . . you were fantastic”. Pass me a bucket.

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