LONDON -- David Beckham promised he wouldn't stay away from the London Olympics just because he was left off the British soccer team. And he made good on that pledge in a surprising way Monday.
The emphasis being on the word "surprise."
The Galaxy midfielder, who is expected to play in the Major League Soccer All-Star Game on Wednesday outside Philadelphia, spent part of Monday hiding in a photo booth at a shopping center across the street from the Olympic Park.
The booth, set up by Adidas, one of Beckham's sponsors, allows fans to pose for souvenir photos. But when the former captain of England's national team bounced out from behind a partition, smiles changed to expressions of shock.
Well, except for one lad. Christian Bell, wearing a Team Great Britain T-shirt, was laughing as he posed for photos with his mother. But when Beckham entered the booth, the stunned 12-year-old broke down in tears.
Beckham responded with a hug then posed for pictures with the couple, even producing a pair of oversized sunglasses so the boy's reddened eyes weren't visible in the snapshot.
"My son starting crying and it made me cry, too," said the mother, Elaine Lewis. "It was absolutely amazing."
Another woman doing a flamboyant dance for the cameras was stopped in her tracks when Beckham entered the booth. She cupped both hands over her mouth in embarrassment when Beckham approached for a hug.
"It was a unique experience for me and the people who took part," Beckham, who posed for pictures with about 60 Olympic visitors, told reporters. "There were some great reactions when we surprised them."
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