Football's cultural phenomenon, David Beckham, retires 17 May 2013 UK Report by Primedia Broadcasting published on 2013-05-17T07:19:54Z On Thursday, Beckham, never the best player in the world but unsurpassed in his era as a cultural phenomenon, announced his impending retirement from soccer at 38. The sport has long had global stars, but none whose careers emerged so fortuitously at the nexus of technology, reality television and celebrity culture. Beckham was the athlete with the most crossover appeal at the moment when everyone could watch together, online or via satellite. A leading MP accused Google of “devious, calculating and unethical” behaviour in a hearing where the company denied trying to avoid tax by disguising the nature of its UK business. Margaret Hodge, who chairs the public accounts committee, accused the technology group on Thursday of using “smoke and mirrors to avoid paying tax” because, she said, the company undertook sales in Britain, as well as Ireland. A British World War II Lancaster bomber performed a flypast Thursday over a reservoir used for practice runs by the legendary “Dambusters” airmen, marking 70 years since their daring raid over Nazi Germany’s industrial heartland. The four-engined aircraft was joined by two vintage Spitfires and two modern-day Tornado jets as they swept over the Derwent Reservoir in Derbyshire, central England, where the Royal Air Force (RAF) trialled the famed “bouncing bomb” used in the raids.