Michael Owens resentment towards David Beckham as daughter Gemma reveals family link
Love Island viewers finally got the 'famous dad' bombshell moment from Gemma Owen, but it wasn't all it was hyped up to be.
There was a lot of disappointment on Thursday night's episode of the show, with her supposedly big reveal as Michael Owen's daughter being barely worth mentioning – as most of the Islanders apparently already knew.
Dumped contestant Ikenna Ekwonna already confessed that Gemma told her fellow Islanders within the first couple of days, but the scenes were unaired.
But Gemma did finally admit the relationship in aired scenes after relatively new contestant Antigoni asked her: "Sorry, excuse me if I'm being ignorant, but is your dad like very very well-known? He played for England, right?"
Gemma confirmed this was the case, and Ekin-Su asked a follow-up question about if she was friends with David Beckham's sons, she added: "Well, I went to nursery with his sons, yeah."
But due to a long-held grudge between the two of them, it's thought she didn't spend much time with the Beckham family outside of nursery – with the two families not even socialising when they were the only two English footballers playing for Real Madrid in Spain.
Owen and Beckham played for Liverpool and Manchester United at the start of their careers, both living in nearby Cheshire, but the widely reported grudge only started once they played together in the 1998 World Cup in France.
The tournament saw an 18-year-old Owen break into an already talented England team, but admitted he felt "let down" by Beckham during their round-of-16 game against Argentina.
Beckham went from a hero to zero in a moment of madness for the midfielder, kicking out at Diego Simeone and getting himself sent off.
The match then went to a penalty shootout and England ended up getting knocked out of the competition, which caused Owen huge early-career heartbreak.
Owen's grudge against Beckham continues to this day, with him describing David' actions as "immature and petulant" in his 2019 autobiography Reboot.
"Sitting here now, with the benefit of hindsight and perspective, I feel that what David did probably wasn’t a red card offence in the first place," wrote Owen.
"While it was clearly pre-meditated, it was immature and petulant more than it was violent. But for me, that almost makes it worse.
"All I can say is that, as I sit here now writing this book, knowing how lucky a player is to appear in one World Cup, never mind more than one, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that what David did that day hadn’t let every single one of that England team down.
"Did he deserve the abuse he got afterwards? Certainly not. What human being needs to see his or her effigy being burned? But David let us down, and I still hold some resentment about it today."
David continued to shine at Manchester United until a famous falling out with manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2003, moving to Spanish giants Real Madrid in a big money deal.
But just 12 months later, Michael made the move himself after a successful number of seasons at Liverpool. However, the move did not bring the pair closer together.
Writing in his autobiography, Owen said: "As much as we ended up living close to David and Victoria Beckham and were two English families living abroad in the same city, there wasn't much in the way of social life as far as them and us were concerned.
"Given that both Louise and Victoria were quite lonely and both looking after young kids, they'd occasionally see each other while we were training. That was the extent of the friendship, however.
"This perhaps wasn't a surprise given that, by the time we found ourselves in Madrid together, David and I had even less in common than we ever had."
Love Island continues every night at 9pm on ITV2.
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