Becks' latest fashion: flight stockings

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The Independent Football

The rumours are true: David Beckham does wear ladies' underwear.

But it is not Posh Spice's knickers that the England captain will be slipping into later this month. Instead, when Beckham and the rest of the squad board the plane for the World Cup, they will be donning stockings, either beige or brown in colour, designed to prevent deep vein thrombosis, the life-threatening condition linked to long-haul air travel.

DVT is more commonly associated with passengers travelling in cramped cheap seats – hence its less scientific name, economy-class syndrome – not the spacious first-class conditions that the England players will enjoy.

But yesterday's announcement revealed the lengths to which Sven Goran Eriksson and his FA team will go to ensure the health of their players – unsurprisingly, perhaps, after the state of national emergency that was declared after Beckham broke a metatarsal bone in his left foot last month.

This week, research showed that nearly half of all passengers who have died from blood clots caused by long-haul flights were in their 20s, 30s or 40s – contradicting the assumption that old people are more vulnerable to the condition. Last season, Manchester City's French striker Alioune Toure was struck by DVT although in his case it was caused by a bus trip to Portsmouth.

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