By Mina Kerr-Lazenby, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter NORTH SHORE NEWS
They say never meet your heroes because they tend to disappoint. Oftentimes the rich and the famous aren’t always who they are cracked up to be and celebrity encounters leave a sour taste in one’s mouth — but there is an exception to that rule, it seems, and he comes heavily tatted, donning a flat cap and clutching a pint of Guinness.
Like the beginning of a bad joke, the chance encounter that occurred last Monday starts with two holidaying North Vancouver business owners walking into a bar. The famed Temple Bar in Dublin, that is.
Trish Neufeld and her brother David Smyth had been enjoying their final night in the Irish capital when soccer legend David Beckham and his son Cruz, out painting the town red for Cruz’s 18th birthday, asked to join their table.
“It was pretty unreal,” said Smyth, who owns local marketing business Click Local Digital Agency.
“We ended up in the Temple Bar in the heart of Dublin, and the place was packed, the music was fantastic and everybody was singing. Next thing we know this young guy comes along and explains that it’s his birthday and he asks if he can sit with us.”
Smyth, a self-proclaimed “big soccer fan”, said the penny only dropped that it was Beckham and his clan when he noticed the Englishman’s signature ink.
“David had his back to me at first with his hand sitting on the table beside me, and I was like, `Oh my God, I would swear those are David Beckham’s tattoos,”’ he said.
“He turns around and we get chatting. We spend the next couple of hours drinking pints of Guinness and singing along to the amazing musicians and just having a great old time.”
Smyth said Beckham, who was joined by his own friends alongside those of his son, even bought a round of drinks for everyone at the table.
When Smyth mentioned how his own son was an avid soccer player, Beckham suggested the two should drop by and “say hello” if they are ever in Miami — now one of the Beckhams’ multiple homes following the footballers launch of his own soccer team, Inter Miami, in the Florida city.
“We’ll see what happens, but if we are ever in Miami we’ll certainly be taking him up on that offer,” laughed Smyth.
“He was really generous and genuine. They were all just lovely, lovely people,” he said.
Neufield, a broker with The Mortgage Group, said the Temple Bar crowd had been respectful of Beckham and he seemed “very comfortable” to be imbibing the night away with regular folk. He even happily posed for a photo with the siblings, which has gone on to do the rounds on social media.
“We’ve been blown away by the response, with everyone around the world sending us messages,” said Neufield.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we feel really lucky to have met him.”