David Beckham teams up with Prince William for wildlife charity campaign

Andy Murray and Lewis Hamilton are also supporting United for Wildlife

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The Independent Online

David Beckham  - footballing legend, underwear designer and…wildlife campaigner?

He has joined Prince William’s charity, United for Wildlife, to back a campaign to preserve critically-endangered species.

Andy Murray, Lewis Hamilton, cricketer Rahul Dravid and rugby’s Francois Pienaar are among the other sporting ambassadors for #WhoseSideAreYouOn.

Mr Beckham said he was “honoured” to be involved in the campaign, which aims to use sporting events to support conservation work.

He added: “I believe sport is a vital way of engaging and highlighting issues and #whosesideareyouon is a perfect example of how sport can raise awareness about conservation, something that we should all be doing something about.”

He joined Prince William at Google’s “Town Hall” in London for the launch of the charity’s manifesto on Monday.

Emmanuel de Merode, director of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, gave a powerful speech about his experience trying to defend gorillas and other wildlife from poaching.

He was recently shot in an ambush and about 140 park rangers have been killed protecting the park since 1994.

The Duke of Cambridge called on people to show support on Facebook and Twitter and to join sports events, including swimming and running competitions.

He said: “Conservation is something I feel very strongly about and linking it with sport, which appeals to people all around the world, seems like the best way to raise awareness.

“There are two thousand critically endangered species on the verge of being lost forever. It’s time to choose a side – between the endangered animals and the criminals who kill them for money.”

United for Wildlife, a consortium of seven NGOs, was launched earlier this year and also has the support of Prince Harry.