- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 28, 2009

WEMBLEY, ENGLAND (AP) - David Beckham broke England’s appearance record for a nongoalkeeper Saturday and set up goal with a trademark cross in a 4-0 exhibition victory over Slovakia.

Beckham entered his 109th game at the start of the second half at Wembley Stadium, surpassing the mark he shared with former captain Bobby Moore (1962-73). The next target for Beckham will be overtaking retired goalkeeper Peter Shilton, who made 125 appearances for England from 1970-90.

“To play 109 times for England is obviously very special for me and for my family,” said Beckham, whose wife Victoria and two sons were in an executive box. “I’ll keep this cap for myself. It will be in my house in London, locked up.”

Beckham, who made his international debut in 1996, crossed to Wayne Rooney in the 70th minute for England’s third goal, and Rooney added another goal in injury time. Emile Heskey and Frank Lampard also scored for England.

“It’s an unbelievable achievement,” Rooney said. “Everyone in the dressing room is delighted for him and the fans love him.”



Beckham replaced Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon for the second half, energizing a crowd that had watched an England team play with little urgency. The English led 1-0 on Heskey’s goal in the seventh minute.

Beckham has prolonged his international career by joining AC Milan in January on a loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy. The 33-year-old midfielder will return to Major League Soccer in July for the second half of the season and intends to rejoin Milan in January.

England plays a World Cup qualifier Wednesday against Ukraine at Wembley but could be without Heskey and Carlton Cole. Heskey left with a suspected calf injury shortly after scoring and was replaced by Cole, who lasted less than 20 minutes before he injured the abductor in his leg. He was replaced by Peter Crouch, who limped off in the 74th.

Darren Bent was added to the roster for Wednesday.

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