Nelson Mandela inspiration for David Beckham

London, Dec 6: Former football star David Beckham paid tributes to the late Nelson Mandela by thanking him for being such an inspiration.

The retired soccer player took to his Facebook account to post a picture of himself with the former South African President.

In a message accompanying the image, which featured Beckham meeting the noble prize winner in 2003 before a friendly fixture against South Africa, he simply wrote: “Thank you.”

Beckham also posted a longer tribute to Mandela shortly beforehand and said it was an honour to have met such a courageous human being, reports

“My heart goes out to the people in South Africa and Mr Mandela’s family. We have lost a true gentleman and a courageous human being. It was truly an honour to have known a man who had genuine love for so many people. Rest in peace,” he posted.

Mandela died peacefully at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, aged 95.