Beckham fever struck China on Thursday, when a fan stampede injured at least seven people, including five security personnel.
About 1,000 people had arrived at a Shanghai Tongji University stadium, where the recently retired soccer star, on a weeklong tour in China, was set to meet the college's soccer team.
But as soon as David Beckham stepped out of his black Bentley, a crush of fans rushed towards him.
“I wanted to take a picture of Beckham [but] people kept pushing forwards,” a witness told the Telegraph. “I wanted to get out [of the crowd] but I couldn't. The teachers were shouting, 'Don't push,' but the boys kept pushing. [My legs were] pressed into to my chest so I couldn't breath.”
Here's a picture of the scene:
David Beckham caused a stampede as he turned up to a Chinese University earlier. At least 5 people were injured pic.twitter.com/bBfXfti3Z4
— FansAllStar Football (@FASfootball) June 20, 2013
And another, via the Telegraph:
David Beckham's retirement doesn't seem to have affected his popularity in China. We're pretty sure he's in the car: pic.twitter.com/kWQlKYeMPH
— Telegraph Sport (@TelegraphSport) June 20, 2013
Beckham, who was forced to leave the area, issued a statement apologizing for his change of plans. “Sorry I couldn't get out on the pitch to see the teams. It was impossible to get through the massive crowds,” he wrote, adding that he hoped the injured recovered soon.