From: 60 Minutes, March 23, 2008

(CBS) You’ve probably heard of soccer player David Beckham, but what might surprise you is that with the possible exception of Tiger Woods, the 32-year-old Englishman is the most well-known and well-compensated athlete in the world. …

While his career has been marked by stunning victories, there’ve also been very public failures. In 1998, Beckham was ejected from the World Cup for a kick against an opposing player. England lost the match against rivals Argentina and was eliminated from the tournament. Almost everyone in England blamed it on Beckham. His family was harassed, and he received death threats.

“There was a sort of dummy of me with an England shirt on, with a noose around, hung up outside a pub in England,” Beckham remembers.

Asked if the English take soccer too seriously, Beckham tells Cooper, “I’m not sure I’d say they take it too seriously. But, you know, sometimes it oversteps the mark. Like I played in European championships two years later, and as I was walking off the pitch, some England fans shouted up, ‘I hope your child dies of cancer.'”

Beckham’s reaction? He gave them the finger.

“It was reported at the time of me just being, you know, my petulant self. Until the actual truth came out about what people had shouted at me,” Beckham says.

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