David Beckham has revealed his heartache for the first time at not being picked for Great Britain's Olympic football team.
The LA Galaxy star had pushed hard to be in the squad as an over-age player and had been seen as a strong driver for ticket sales early in the process.
However coach Stuart Pearce disagreed and left England's most capped outfield player off the roster in favour of Welsh international and Manchester United stalwart Ryan Giggs, who will shepherd the team's quest for gold in London next month.
"Everyone knows how proud I am of representing my country and to do it in my hometown on such a big stage would have been incredible, so of course I'm disappointed but life goes on," said a visibly emotional Beckham.
Of former United teammate Giggs, he said: "It would have been great to have been there with him because we've got a lot of great memories from playing with Manchester United and I hope he gets a gold medal."
He also poured water on rumours that he was in line to light the Olympic Torch at the opening ceremony, adding: "I've always said that lighting the torch in the stadium should be done by an Olympian."
Despite the let down, Beckham insisted he is not bitter and vowed to support Team GB from the stands.
"It's going to be a proud moment to be there and know that I was part of bringing the Olympics to the East End of London," he said.