Beckham flies to Afghanistan to boost British troops’ morale

Saturday, May 22, 2010

LONDON - England footballer David Beckham is flying to Afghanistan for a surprise visit to boost the morale of thousands of British troops serving in the country, the UK Ministry of Defence said.

Beckham left from Royal Air Force’s Brize Norton airbase in Oxfordshire, and is due to arrive in Camp Bastion on Saturday.

“Beckham is on his way to Afghanistan. He is coming to meet the troops: it’s a morale-boosting visit,” The Times quoted a military spokesman, as saying.

During his visit, Beckham is expected to make a trip to Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital where Britain has a military base.

“This is a long-planned morale-boosting trip for the benefit of our troops during which he will meet service personnel from all the services as well as international and Afghan troops,” a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said.

Earlier on Friday, the 35-year-old, who is recovering from an Achilles-tendon injury, has spoken about his respect for the armed forces.

“I have nothing, but admiration for these young men and women and it makes me very proud to be British,” Beckham said.

Britain has around 10,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of an international force, largely fighting the Taliban. (ANI)

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