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SHANGHAI (AFP) – Football superstar David Beckham on Friday sent his love to people hurt in a stampede at a Shanghai event, as fans praised him despite the incident.
Seven people were injured in a stampede at a Shanghai university on Thursday after hundreds of spectators rushed to see the former England captain, who is visiting China as ambassador to the nation's football league.
"I've heard a few people got injured... which I want to send my love to," Beckham said in comments broadcast by state television on Friday.
"I hope you get well soon -- speedy recovery -- and I hope to see you soon," he said.
Police said the seven injured were three police officers, two security guards and two students, including a Japanese national.
Beckham also apologised for the cancellation of the university event, at which he was scheduled to play with the school's team and a youth team.
"The warmth that I got shown at the university was really incredible," he said.
"Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get out onto the field to train with some of the young students, but hopefully next time."
Beckham left Shanghai as scheduled after the event for the nearby city of Hangzhou, where he will watch a Chinese Super League match on Saturday evening.
His Chinese fan base continued to gush over the star with many saying the stampede was not his fault.
"If I could see you once, getting hurt would be worth it," said dbaoxiang on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent to Twitter.
A written apology posted on Beckham's new Sina Weibo account on Thursday had attracted more than 6,000 comments, most overwhelmingly positive.
"It's not your fault, only the fans being too crazy," said another using the handle Blue Snow.
Beckham is scheduled to join his wife Victoria at a charity auction in Beijing on Sunday before leaving China.