Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant FC announced a surprise new signing last Friday evening – former England captain and global icon David Beckham.
When rumours of the star’s shock arrival in the village hit social media, the club joked on Twitter: “Terms all agreed. Contract signed. Only the small issue of international clearance.”
Mr Beckham made his mark quite literally on the pitch, with the club tweeting later that his private helicopter had left behind a “big hole”.
It was his not-so-discreet arrival that alerted villagers to their mysterious guest, with many leaving their tea on the table to rush out and see what all the fuss was about.
When crowds began to gather around the helicopter, Mr Beckham delayed his departure to spend time posing for photos.
Huw Williams, chairman of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant Recreation Association, agreed the landing the previous day, but was not told who was going to be on board.
He said: “I was contacted by the flight operator asking if they could have permission to land on the pitch.
“They said they were picking up a client – they weren’t going to divulge who the client was but I picked up something about the way they said it.”
Mr Williams thought no more about it, and on Friday evening was away in South Wales when his wife saw the photos online.
He said: “Like everyone else I was surprised. From speaking to people who were there, he arrived with his entourage just after six and got on the helicopter.
“When people started appearing he got back off to sign things for people and have pictures, and was thoroughly pleasant.”
Llanrhaeadr residents were star-struck as they posed for photos with the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player.
Steve Williams was among the residents to get a photo with Mr Beckham (picture below). He said: “I wasn't sure who it was at first. Then when he got a bit closer I could see it was David Beckham.
“He was a top man and took time out for a few pictures. Towards the end he asked if everyone got a picture.
“He was a gent in my books, even though I’m not really into footy it was pretty cool meeting someone as high profile as David Beckham, except my little girl Lily didn’t really look too impressed!”
Harri Matthews shared his own picture (banner image above) with Mr Beckham on Twitter with the caption: “I can now say David Beckham smells like an absolute angel.”
It is believed that Mr Beckham was filming an advert nearby, and he took to Instagram to share a photo of the Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfalls – captioned “Ridiculously beautiful” – with his 40 million followers.
See full story in the County Times