Entertainment & Arts

Carol Ann Duffy 'waiting for David Beckham's boots'

David Beckham's football boot
Duffy said she would like the boots "by Christmas"

Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy says she is still waiting for a pair of football boots promised to her by David Beckham after she wrote a poem about him.

Duffy was inspired to write Achilles by Beckham's injury that kept him out of England's 2010 World Cup campaign.

She said that when Beckham asked for a handwritten copy, she agreed to send one in return for a pair of his boots.

"He's got the bloody poem, I haven't got the boots," she told Mark Lawson for BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme.

Footballing consciousness

Duffy's work contains references to Achilles - the greatest warrior in the Trojan war, according to ancient Greek mythology - with allusions to football field battles and Beckham himself.

"Beckham struggled to get fit and play for England which I think was very much part of the footballing consciousness of the country," she told Front Row.

She added it "seemed to me complete Greek myth that it happened and I just found the connection occurring to me".

"Interestingly when it was published, Beckham himself - in fact if he's listening to this - asked for a handwritten copy of the poem because he apparently liked it very much.

"And I said, 'well yes if I can have a pair of your boots' and so the deal was struck but I haven't had the boots yet."

She said she had been waiting for the boots "for about six months".

"Mind you, he's had a baby so I'll have them by Christmas please," she added.

Listen to the Carol Ann Duffy Front Row Special on Friday at 1915 BST on BBC Radio 4.

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