Beckham Mania hits fever pitch

David Beckham's generosity has led to two children being on opposite sides of a court case.

After a game between Japan's Gamba Osaka and Beckham's LA Galaxy in the Pan-Pacific Championship at Hawaii's Aloha Stadium, the former England captain offered his famous number 23 jersey to the two former best friends.

A scrum-like battle between the two children, aged 9 and 10, was resolved by a police officer, who handed the sweaty white shirt to the son of Wilfred and Yoshika Ho.

 "My boy got the shirt," said Mr. Ho, citing the front page photo of the altercation in an edition of The Honolulu Advertiser.  "Their kid started to pry at it."

But the parents of the other child, Eric and Yoshika Kerr, claim that the jersey was initially arranged to be held in joint custody - one that the Hos are failing to honour. It was this that resulted in Mr. Kerr hiring a lawyer to send a formal letter to the Hos.

 "Why not let the kids share?" said Mr. Kerr.  "Becks is such a big star and it's one heck of an experience for the boys.

Mr. Kerr went on to cite his son's use of a sign to attract the attention of Beckham as the catalyst for the superstar's offer.

 "He pointed out that he wanted our son to have it. How do you explain this to a 10-year-old?

 "We just want them to keep their end of the bargain."

But Mr. and Mrs. Ho deny any knowledge of this agreement.  "When we tried to clarify that we were the owners they got upset so we never let them borrow the shirt," said Mrs. Ho.

David Beckham has not commented on the situation, but LA Galaxy's club president, Alexei Lalas, was in  "utter disbelief" at the situation and offered a simple yet effective solution to the problem:  "I suggest that they get a pair of scissors, cut the thing in two and give half to each."