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David Beckham has once again been snubbed in the New Year Honours list despite recent reports suggesting the former England captain has been given the all-clear to receive a knighthood.
Beckham, who remains the third-most capped player for the Three Lions with 115 appearances, is one of sport's most recognisable figures but has previously been overlooked for the honour, reportedly due to an issue with HM Customs and Revenue.
According to The Sun, Beckham was deemed ineligible for a knighthood after being embroiled in a tax avoidance scheme 10 years ago.
Anyone with financial irregularities is given a “red warning” by the Inland Revenue and barred from honours recognition.
However, the issue is now said to have been settled with HMRC – with Beckham reportedly moved onto the official recommendations list for a knighthood in June.
There were suggestions that Beckham, who already holds an OBE, could be fast-tracked into the 2022 New Year Honours list but the Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder was a notable absentee when the recipients were named on Friday.
Several sports stars were recognised in the New Year list, however, including Team GB cyclists Laura and Jason Kenny, who became the first couple to be awarded a damehood and a knighthood at the same time.
Emma Raducanu was awarded an MBE after winning the US Open, while the likes of Adam Peaty, Tom Daley and Emma Hayes were also recognised with an OBE.
Beckham has previously reacted angrily to being overlooked for a knighthood.
Back in 2017, he is alleged to have branded the honours committee "unappreciative c***s" in a series of leaked emails, insisting he didn't "care about being knighted".
He also allegedly wrote: "I expected nothing less. It's a disgrace to be honest and if I was American I would have got something like this 10 years ago."
Another email which was reportedly aimed at singer Katherine Jenkins after she was awarded an OBE said: "For what?"
"Singing at the rugby and going to see the troops..."
A close friend of Beckham told The Mirror in 2017 : "He is very calm at the moment because he knows the great work that he has done for UNICEF.
"But he is just saddened that people would question all of that work. Genuinely, he wasn’t as vitriolic as that, but you do say some things in private and in the heat of the moment.
"To be honest, he does feel that he has given so much to his country. And sometimes you say things in private that anyone would say and you don’t really mean it.
"While he was frustrated in those emails, he was over it the moment he sent them. Getting the knighthood is not what his work is about.
"He doesn’t care if he gets a knighthood or not."
Beckham was recently tipped for a knighthood by his former England team-mate John Terry, who also recommended a number of other former footballers to be honoured.
One of those named by Terry was former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, who has scoffed at the idea of receiving a title.
He wrote on Twitter: “I don’t think I’m anywhere near but I’d rather have a most improved player award for a Sunday team than an award off this lot."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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