Soccer ace DAVID BECKHAM stepped down as captain of the England team yesterday (02JUL06), after the team was defeated by Portugal in the World Cup on Saturday (01JUL06). Beckham, tearful and shaking, admitted he had decided to quit some time ago after concluding it was best for his family and himself. He says, "It was the greatest honour of my career, fulfilling my childhood dream. "Now almost six years later, having been captain for 58 of my 95 caps, I feel the time is right to pass on the armband as we enter into a new era. "I came to this decision some time ago but I had hoped to announce it on the back of a successful World Cup."