6 AUGUST 2007

Even injured and with no hope of making it onto the pitch, David Beckham proved he's more than capable of inspiring passion in fans of the football and non-football variety. In Canada the superstar player, whose five-year contract is worth US$250 million, was mobbed by crowds begging for autographs the minute he got off the LA Galaxy bus for his side's match against Toronto FC.

Frustrated David was forced to sit out the game because of a nagging ankle injury as the match progressed to a 0-0 draw. He will have been cheered, however, by the fact that interest in him remains so high. Galaxy has sold out every game this season to lead North America's Major League Soccer association in attendance figures.

On the terraces there was further evidence the sporting ace is fulfilling his promise to raise the game's profile across the Atlantic. Cameras were treated to the unusual sight of Posh and Becks impersonators strolling around the stands. Elsewhere another devotee showed off a tattoo bearing her hero's name etched on her back.

Photo: ©
He may be stuck on the bench due to a nagging injury, but Galaxy's US$250-million player still manages to draw a crowd as his team prepares to take on Toronto FCPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
David, who has only played for 12 minutes since being unveiled as the North American side's star signing, urged on his colleagues from the standPhoto: © AFP
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