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By ESPN Staff

Beckham stays on to boost 2018 bid

David Beckham has expressed his grief for his grandfather but said Joseph West, who died aged 83 this week, would have wanted him to stay in South Africa to help England's 2018 World Cup bid.

Beckham was very close to his grandfather and was holding back the tears when he talked about him, but he felt the best course of action was to serve his country.

"Of course, any family thing like this is tough," he said. "My grandad had been not well for quite a few months but it's something that, when it happens, nothing can prepare you for it.

"To be here is something that my grandad was proud of me being a part of. He was so proud of everything in my career and he followed every game. He would call me after every game, every training session and all through my career.

"If I had decided to go home, I know what he was like - he was an East End strong person. He would have shouted at me for leaving this because he was passionate about his country, he fought for his country and I know how proud he was of me. He would have wanted me to stay."

Beckham has also addressed the issue of his asthma, which came to light during a recent LA Galaxy match as he was seen using an inhaler.

"It's out there now," he said. "Sometimes I have good days and bad days. I've never hidden it but it's something I've had for a good few years now.

"I hope it turns into a positive because I've been able to play for many years with the condition. I know there are many other players who have overcome it such as Paul Scholes."

It had been reported that the 34-year-old smokes cigars, but Beckham insists those rumours have been exaggerated.

"I've always prided myself on the way I look after myself," he said. "On special occasions, like winning the European Cup, I might have had a puff, but I don't sneak into the garden - I think my boys would kill me if I did.''


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