Soccer to Strictly Star
You may have watched David James MBE in Strictly earlier this year but did you know he is a local footballing legend, born and bred in Welwyn Garden City? In fact when he started coaching Luton Town in 2013, it was a highlight for him as he had been a fan since he was a boy. David went to Sir Frederic Osborn School and also spent part of his childhood in Jamaica.
David was Englands Number one from 2002, when he took over as goalkeeper from David Seaman although he had previously been the second choice. Between 1997 and 2010 he was capped 53 times and was first choice goalkeeper during the team’s Euro 2004 and the 2010 World Cup campaigns.
David started his career with Watford FC and he went on to play Premier League football for Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham United, Manchester City and Portsmouth. He won a number of medals including a Football League Cup winner’s medal in 1995 (Liverpool) and an FA Cup winner’s medal 2008 (Portsmouth ). He also got runners-up medals with Aston Villa in 2000, Liverpool in 1996 and Portsmouth in 2010. Aged 39 years old, he became the oldest goalkeeper to appear in an FA Cup Final with Portsmouth.
David has also modelled for Giorgio Armani and H&M, had a lot of different hairstyles and is an avid artist!
In 2005, he set up the David James Foundation in order to help maize farmers in Malawi develop more efficient production techniques. The foundation funds the David James Foundation Scholarship at the University of Westminster, which funds a student from Malawi to study for a master’s degree at Westminste. David is also a global ambassador for the Special Olympics and works with Access Sport to provide sports provision in deprived areas of the United Kingdom.
More recently he was manager at Kerala Blasters FC in the Indian Super League in 2018 and is also a pundit on BT Sports (he has also done a similar role for EuroSport) – as well as his strictly appearance of course where he was the 4th celebrity to leave.
A great guy with many talents!