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‘His legacy will live on’: David Beckham pays emotional tribute to friend Kobe Bryant


David has paid tribute to Kobe (Picture: Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images)

David Beckham has spoken of his heartbreak after the death of friend and fellow athlete Kobe Bryant.

The LA Lakers legend died on Sunday aged 41, after the helicopter he was travelling in crashed over Calabasas.

All nine people on board died, including Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

The day after the tragic news, David, 44, shared a number of pictures, including one of himself with Kobe, to Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B70tdg-B4C_/

The former Manchester United star wrote: ‘It’s taken me hours to work out what to write and still my words won’t ever be enough to describe how I am feeling after the tragic loss of Kobe. This was one special athlete, husband, father and friend.

‘Having to write these words is hard enough but also knowing we have lost an amazing human being and his beautiful and talented daughter Gianna is heartbreaking.

‘The commitment Kobe showed to his sport was inspiring, to go through the pain and to finish a game off like only he could inspired me to try to be better. Sometimes I would only go to games just to watch that clock go down to the last 2:00 minutes knowing that we were about to witness something special.’

Becks, who was in attendance at Bryant’s final game in 2016, continued: ‘Kobe always talked about Vanessa and his beautiful girls and how proud he was of them. Kobe’s passion was his family and basketball. He was determined to inspire the next generation of boys and girls to embrace the sport that he loved. His legacy will live on.

Becks attended Kobe’s final game (Picture: Kevork S. Djansezian/GC Images)

‘My family’s love and prayers go out to Vanessa and the girls, to Kobe’s basketball family, and of course to the families of those who were tragically lost with him yesterday…’

David was often a fixture at games at the Staples Center, having played for LA Galaxy from 2007 until 2012.

The showbiz and sports worlds are in mourning following Bryant’s death, with the Grammys featuring a number of tributes – including the athlete’s retired Lakers jerseys being illuminated in the rafters of the Staples Center.

Kobe and Gianna were among the nine people killed (Picture: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

And Bryant’s Olympics teammate LeBron James was seen in tears after learning the news.

It is believed that Kobe and Gianna were on their way to a youth tournament at his Mamba Sports Academy when the helicopter crashed.

The final pictures of the father and daughter were taken at a basketball match a day earlier.



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