On the opening day of the 1996-97 Premier League season, champions Manchester United travelled to Selhurst Park to take on Wimbledon.
Alex Ferguson’s crop of promising youngsters such as Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers, had already overcome media criticism — "You’ll never win anything with kids," said Match of the Day analyst Alan Hansen after defeat to Aston Villa a year earlier — to reclaim the Premier Trophy from Blackburn Rovers the previous season.
And against the Crazy Gang on this sunny August afternoon, another of Fergie’s Fledglings, David Beckham, scored a goal that would instantly catapult him to a new level of stardom.
United were well on their way to a comfortable victory, holding a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Eric Cantona and Denis Irwin.
But Beckham, in the 90th minute, was about to put the icing on the cake.
Collecting the ball just inside his own half, the future England captain looked up and saw goalkeeper Neil Sullivan stood near the edge of his penalty area. Without a second thought, the 21-year-old struck for goal, making the cleanest possible connection between the ball and his brand new Adidas Preditors — Beckham was wearing the revolutionary new boots for the very first time.
Sullivan began to back-track but he was powerless to prevent Beckham’s perfectly flighted effort from falling just below the crossbar and into the net.
It was an iconic goal which launched an iconic career. Re-live it below.