Manchester attack: David Beckham says Man Utd’s Europa League win ‘brings happiness’

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Manchester attack: David Beckham says Man Utd’s Europa League win ‘brings happiness’

Manchester United’s Europa League triumph has brought “a little happiness at a difficult time”, said former England captain David Beckham.

The Red Devils beat Ajax in Wednesday’s final in Stockholm, two days after the Manchester Arena bombing which killed 22 people and injured 64.

“Tonight was more important than sport,” ex-United player Beckham said.

The 42-year-old added it was “a big night for United but an even bigger night for the city and our country”.

Greater Manchester Police said the final would be a “poignant” occasion following Monday’s attacks after an Ariana Grande pop concert, adding it was “right” for the game to go ahead despite also discussing postponing it.

United fans and officials said before the final that the match was secondary to the “pain and suffering” in Manchester since the attack.

On an emotional night in Sweden, United won their second major trophy of the season as they earned a 2-0 win against the Dutch side, securing Champions League football.

“At a time when we are grieving for the families that have lost loved ones, we have a sport that has brought a little happiness at a difficult time,” said Beckham, who played 394 games for United between 1992 and 2003.

“We pray for peace,” he added.

‘Trophy parade would lift the whole city’

United should organise a victory parade when they return to Manchester to help raise spirits in the city following the bombing, says former Red Devils defender Phil Neville.

The 40-year-old was part of the Red Devils squad which celebrated winning the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble in 1999 with an open-top bus journey.

“When we won the Champions League we paraded the trophy in the city centre, ending in the Arena and celebrated there. It was unbelievable,” the ex-England defender told.

“After what happened on Monday, United should parade the trophy around Manchester and finish at the Arena.

“I think it would be special.

“You should fill the streets of Manchester – Deansgate, St Peter’s Square, St Ann’s Square – and get the trophy back.

“Football can do brilliant things so don’t go off on holiday, get back to Manchester, get the trophy out and share the success with the city.”