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Thursday, 9 May, 2002, 19:33 GMT 20:33 UK
Blair meets England squad
Blair, Beckham, Eriksson, Southgate and Seaman at Downing Street
Beckham, Southgate, Eriksson and Seaman with Blair
Prime Minister Tony Blair invited some of the newly unveiled England football squad to 10 Downing Street to wish them well for the World Cup.

The stars were led by manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, who was fresh from announcing the 23 players travelling to Japan for the tournament next month.

Injured David Beckham managed to hobble along to the event, sporting a new blond-tipped Mohican hairstyle.

Cherie Blair and David Beckham
Cherie Blair admires Beckham's new hairstyle

He posed for pictures outside Number 10 with team-mates David Seaman and Gareth Southgate.

When Mr Blair was asked what he thought of England's chances in the finals, he pointed to Mr Eriksson and said: "That's his business."

Goalkeeper Seaman, still enjoying the afterglow of winning the League and Cup double with Arsenal, said the prime minister "loves his football".

Beckham's foot

And on England's chances, he said: "A lot of the teams are of good quality, but we've got a lot of good players too.

"We proved that when we beat Germany. We will give it a good go."

Beckham, who was named in the squad, was keeping quiet about the state of his injured foot.

Football heroes

He broke a metatarsal bone in Manchester United's European Champions League clash with Deportivo La Coruna last month, and it is touch-and-go whether he will be ready to play in the first England fixture on 2 June.

Outside Downing Street, a band of enthusiastic England fans sang "We've got the World Cup in our hands" as their heroes were driven through the gates from Whitehall.

Also at the meeting were TV pundit and Sport England supremo Trevor Brooking and the Football Association's Adam Crozier and David Davies.

See also:

09 May 02 | England
Eriksson hails 'special' Cole
09 May 02 | England
Keown in England squad
09 May 02 | England
BBC experts pass judgement
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