Beckham rules out torch role
David Beckham has ruled himself out of lighting the Olympic Flame, saying an Olympian should have that honour.
Last Updated: 13/07/12 11:47am
David Beckham has admitted he was disappointed to be omitted from Stuart Pearce's Great Britain squad for the Olympics.
The veteran Los Angeles Galaxy star had long been earmarked for a place in the 18-man squad after helping London secure the Games back in 2005.
But despite Beckham making the shortlist, team coach Pearce ultimately opted for Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards as his over-age players.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder admits it came as a blow because of the pride he would have felt to be involved.
"Everybody knows how proud I am to represent my country and to do it in my home town on such a big stage would have been incredible," Beckham told Sky Sports News.
"So of course yeah I am disappointed.
"I am very proud to be an ambassador and I have been for the years that has led up to this.
"Getting the Olympics was one of the proudest moments to be involved in with the bid team. It was an incredible moment.
"And then all the talk of me possibly performing in the Olympics would have been a very proud moment for me.
"Ryan obviously has had such an amazing career with Manchester United and also with the Welsh team and he deserves to be there.
"He deserves to play in a big competition like this. It would have been great to have been there with him because we have a lot of great memories from playing for Manchester United.
"I hope he gets a gold medal."
Although the 37-year-old has been overlooked, chairman of the London organising committee Lord Coe says Beckham will still have a major but as yet unconfirmed role at the Olympics.
And London-born Beckham is determined to enjoy the occasion as a supporter of the Games if not a participant.
"I am going to be just proud just to be there as a fan more than anything," he added.
"In a part of London where I grew up playing soccer over the fields that have been changed now.
"As a fan and an Englishman I am going to be very proud."
But one role that Beckham does not feel he should have is that of lighting the torch at the opening ceremony.
He added: "Lighting the torch in the stadium is something that should be done by an Olympian. An Olympian who has done incredible things for our country and won gold medals.
"I am sure whoever decides that, it will be an Olympian."