David Beckham was last night embroiled in a furious row after he was targeted by hackers who leaked emails which alleged he used his charity work as part of a campaign to win a knighthood.
The former England captain was accused of calling the honours committee ‘unappreciative c****’ for its failure to make him Sir David as well refusing to bankroll the charity.
A series of damning emails were released by Football Leaks yesterday, the sporting equivalent of Wiki Leaks.
Last night Beckham’s representatives dismissed the claims, stating that the emails had been ‘hacked and doctored’ from a private account.
The cache of emails include allegations that Beckham, an ambassador for Unicef, demanded £6,685 from the charity for a business class flight for him to attend an event in Asia, even though his sponsors had provided a private jet.
Football Leaks claimed Beckham admitted in emails that his charity work was part of a conscious effort to win an honour.
A close adviser also reportedly said his work with UNICEF produced a ‘halo effect’ for the former star, European media, including L’Equipe and Der Spiegel, reported.
Football Leaks also claimed the 41-year-old reacted angrily when friend and PR advisor Simon Oliveira suggested he put one million dollars (£800,000) into a prize-giving Unicef dinner in Shanghai.