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Last Updated: Friday, 31 October, 2003, 07:59 GMT
Beckham bags Watford man
Watford's director of football Terry Byrne is set to quit Vicarage Road to become David Beckham's personal manager.

Byrne, a former player with Leyton Orient and Cambridge, will leave his post in December and move to Madrid to assist the England captain.

The Hornets chief said he was disappointed to be parting company with the Division One club, but could not turn down the opportunity to work with Beckham.

"I am disappointed that I won't be able to finish the job that I started. But I am excited about the new project that has come about and I believe it is an offer that was impossible to refuse," he told the club's official website.

"I've been a kit man, a masseur, a physiotherapist, a general manager and now director of football, and I think the knowledge that I've gained from each has been priceless.

"All of those things will now help me to look after somebody who is so big in football."

When Byrne finished playing he studied physiotherapy at Lilleshall for two years and then moved to Chelsea under Glenn Hoddle in 1993 as kit man and masseur.

He went on to become assistant physiotherapist under Ruud Gullit and Gianluca Vialli and then followed the Italian to Watford in 2001. Byrne has also been involved with the England medical set-up.

In 2002 Watford chairman Graham Simpson promoted Byrne to director of football - responsible for player contracts, scouting and the academy.

"I will be very disappointed to see Terry leave the club," said Simpson.

"I feel in the short time he has been director of football he has achieved a great deal. But he has been offered a wonderful opportunity and I am sure we all wish Terry the very best for the future."

Meanwhile, Beckham looks set to play in Real's Primera liga match against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

He appears to have shaken off the hamstring injury that forced him to miss Real's last two league games.

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