Sidelined Becks still big T.O. draw

JACK BOLAND, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

TORONTO -- Toronto FC soccer fans were a little bent out of shape over David Beckham's non-start last night.

Fans packed the stands, having paid as much as $500 for a ticket from scalpers earlier in the week, to watch Toronto take on the L.A. Galaxy, or more accurately soccer star Beckham make his North American soccer debut.

But after a news conference yesterday, when Beckham announced he wouldn't be hitting the soccer pitch, scalpers were lucky to get face value for their tickets.

However fans, even those without tickets, flocked to the BMO stadium to catch a glimpse and maybe an autograph from the soccer icon.

Eve Fischer was looking to move in on the dapper David, who was Poshless this weekend.

"I'd give her a run for his money," said Fischer, who was decked out in a sporty Toronto FC t-shirt and $275 designer Victoria Beckham jeans.

Dressed in a suit and tie, Beckham didn't bound onto the field with the rest of the team and instead slinked through a line of photographers to sit on the Galaxy's bench.

He playfully waved to fans through a glass enclosure.

Fischer's boyfriend Tony Paulo was a little disappointed that Beckham wasn't playing, but was more pumped about the first half play of the TFC.

"I can't believe we are taking it to them like this with six or seven of our players out," Paulo said, cheering in the north end-zone seats.

It was a different scene in the south section, where the rabid Red Patch Boys -- superfans who have entertained their fellow fans at every game -- jeered Becks even before the game had started.

Season ticket holders Liz Yeardsley and her friend Sandra Brown said they had this date circled on their calendars from the start of the first whistle of the season.

Yeardsley, wearing a blue Manchester United replica jersey with Beckham's name and famous No. 7 on the back, said she loves the skills he brings to the game.

"He is the guy, the player and I love his tattoos," Yeardsley said.

Brown said he will probably help bring the game up in North America, drawing possibly on other big name European stars to follow. But he is not the soccer saviour everybody is making him out to be, Brown said.

"He is not the Messiah, and I don't agree with others that he is the Messiah," said Brown, who was sporting a Beckham t-shirt with two golden soccer balls on the front of it.

Becks will be in Toronto another day or so according to some fans and will catch the baseball Blue Jays take on the New York Yankees.


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