The fan - Hunter Davies awaits his hospital visit from Becks

Join the Friends of Becks for a discount on Brylcreem

I'm going into the Royal Free Hospital, George and Mary Ward, no grapes, please, to have a new knee. Never liked this one. Should have traded it in years ago. All my own fault. Despite having had two cartilage ops, I played football 'til I was 50, which was stupid. One op was never really successful. Hence this dodgy knee I've been carrying around with me.

Bad timing. It's Euro week, with Chelsea and Liverpool both playing. But if I come round in time, still in one piece, having managed not to catch a superbug, maybe I can watch the Chelsea game. I wonder if George and Mary has Sky?

Worst of all, I'm going to miss the first annual meeting of the FoB. I was thrilled when it was formed, just before England's last World Cup qualifying games. So many people were being really horrible about David, saying he should be dropped. How could they be so stupid? But David showed them, didn't he just. What a magnificent goal he scored against the giants of Azerbaijan. Some small-minded people said he was offside, and he had only the goalie to beat, but that is sooo silly.

The Friends of Becks, well, it's like Friends of the Tate. Members get a discount on various items, like Brylcreem, and a limited-edition print of Brooklyn's tree house, which cost only £250,000. The tree house, I mean. Not the print. That's authenticated by Tony Stephens, David's agent. Shows it's kosher. There's an FoB newsletter, which is really good. And, of course, access to a website. That's where I first heard about it.

It started because of all the petty, unfair criticisms he's been having recently. Those who truly love and adore him wanted to rally round, show support.

First, people have been saying he's the reason Real Madrid have been rubbish this season. If you ask me, that fat Brazilian up front, he's the real problem, plus that baldy Frenchman. They've done nothing while David has worked his socks off.

Then for England, some have even said he shouldn't be captain, as he can't run, can't head the ball, can't tackle, can't beat his man, chickens out of tackles, then throws himself at the nearest player when he loses the ball. All of which is so untrue. David never loses the ball. Lesser people take it off him.

He's also had all that unpleasant stuff about his personal life: that girl whose name I'm not going to mention. He's already said it's ludicrous. Isn't that enough?

Then his hair. He can't win. If he changes its colour and style all the time, he gets mocked. Now that he's just letting it grow, alfresco, al dente, people are saying, ahh, we can see he has boring, mousy hair - and it's receding. Aren't people horrid?

As members of the FoB, one of the things we all had to do after that Northern Ireland game (yes, he did play, don't be sarky, his name was definitely on the team sheet) was to send personal e-mails to all the papers. We got given the name of the idiot on each paper who does the ratings - you know, marks out of ten for performance. I just could not believe so many people gave David just five points. One gave him only three. Blind, or what? We were told not to send any death threats. Just sort of heavy warnings: we know where you live, the names of your kids.

Sven is president of the FoB. It's well known that he's madly in love with David, always will be. You can see it in his eyes. Motty is vice-president, bless.

Julie Burchill is one of our patrons. She did that lovely little book about him a few years ago. People were horrid at the time, so jealous, saying she was just cashing in, she'd missed the boat, it was a cuttings job, she wouldn't recognise a football if one landed in her knickers. Or two. She's a big girl.

She'll be at the meeting. Such a shame I'll miss it. I was hoping to get her views on the offside trap, whether David was or not. Alex Ferguson was asked to give the inaugural lecture. What an honour. Can't understand how he's got a prior engagement.

Anyway, David, I'll be thinking of you as I go under. Before Mr Dowd, he's my surgeon, starts operating. Kissy, kissy. George and Mary, it's on the eighth floor. Just in case you're passing . . .

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