David Beckham plays soccer with children at Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre last month. Beckham is so popular in China that about 1,000 fans stampeded when he arrived to visit Shanghai Tongji University, resulting in seven people being injured. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The heavens opened and drenched the already miserable Chinese national team supporters as they trudged home from the Workers Stadium in central Beijin(...)