David Beckham says he ‘never’ got his iconic 2000 buzz cut to ‘create attention’

David Beckham says he ‘never’ got his iconic 2000 buzz cut to ‘create attention’

David Beckham has reflected on his decision to get his iconic buzz cut during the early 2000s.

The former Manchester United star, 48, opened up about how he first wanted to shave his head during the third episode of his new Netflix docuseries, Beckham. According to Beckham, when he first thought about the hair transformation in 2000, his hairdresser questioned him about it.

“I had a hairdresser at the time called Tyler. I said to him: ‘I’m gonna cut my hair’ and he was like: ‘Are you sure? You really want to do that?’” he recalled.

He went on to note that after he officially chopped off his blonde hair, resulting in the buzz cut, his Manchester United Coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, confronted him about it. “And [Ferugson] said: ‘David, take the cap off,’ and I said no,’” he continued. Ferguson then called the athlete out for his “stubbornness” at the time, before adding: “And then I said: ‘Oh well.’”

During a 2000 game between Leicester City and Manchester United, Beckham went on to debut his new look, with the sports commentators noting that “the blonde locks have gone” and that “the sight ... will take a bit of getting used to”.

As shown in the documentary, he went on to make headlines after changing his hair, with reporters asking if his haircut would impact his relationship with Ferguson, to which Beckham responded: “No.” Other reporters, at the time, had also requested to speak with the former professional footballer’s hairdresser.

However, according to Beckham, he didn’t shave his head for the sake of publicity. “I never did it to create attention,” he explained. “I’m not that person.”

Regardless of his intentions when changing his hair, the docuseries continued to show much attention his look received. For example, James Clarke, a Manchester paparazzi member, recalled some of the reactions to Beckham cutting his blonde hair.

“When David Beckham shaved his head, I honestly thought a member of my family had died. Because my phone went off,” he said. “The panic in people’s voices that this… We haven’t got it documented yet.”

Clarke also added that throughout the UK, many young fans had even been inspired to have a buzz cut like Beckham.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“Literally kids: ‘I want to be David Beckham, I want to shave my head.’ And schools were having to write in: ‘No shaving of heads,’” he said.

Beckham’s wife, Victoria Beckham, then expressed that after he shaved his head in 2000, he started “going from a boy to a man”.

“And it’s only natural that you’ll start flexing your muscles right? And don’t all kids rebel against their parents?” she said, hinting at Beckham’s close relationship with Ferguson, who he viewed as a father figure.

This isn’t the first time that Beckham has opened up about his buzz cut. In a selfie shared to his Instagram Story in August, he poked fun at his decision to shave his head once again.

“Nothing much changes,” he jokingly wrote in the caption, which included a photo of the freshly buzzed look, shared via Huffington Post. “[I] get bored of my hair [and] chop it off.”

Elsewhere in the four-part docuseries, Beckham also reflected on some pivotal moments throughout his football career. Back in 1998, he received a red card for kicking out at Argentina player Diego Simeone. After that, Manchester United went on to lose on penalties and crash out of the World Cup tournament.

In the series, his wife explained how her then 23-year-old partner had struggled with clinical depression following the criticism he received after the 1998 Argentina match. “I mean, the absolute hate, the public bullying, to another level. He was depressed, absolutely clinically depressed. I still want to kill these people,” the fashion designer explained.

Beckham also added: “What I went through was so extreme. The whole country hated me. Hated me. It changed my life. I felt very vulnerable and alone. Wherever I went I got abuse every single day. People look at you in a certain way, spit at you, abuse you, come up to your face and say some of the things that they said. That was difficult.”