David Beckham overcame many a fierce opponent during his illustrious playing days, and now he can add Alcohol Concern to his list of scalps.

The charity complained about his TV ad for whisky brand Haig Club, which he launched in partnership with Diageo, arguing it would appeal to children.

But the advertising watchdog ruled that the former England captain was simply too old to appeal to children.  

The ad is directed by Guy Ritchie, of Snatch and Lock Stock fame, and features the 39-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid star and his well-groomed friends converging on a Highlands estate to enjoy a few drams.

Alcohol Concern said the ad was also implied that drinking alcohol was a “key component of social success” and that “refusal was a sign of weakness”.

Diageo rubbished these claims and added that Beckham would instead appeal to 25 to 40-year-olds as he “is not a person whose example children are likely to follow” and has “limited resonance with young people in the UK, particularly in comparison with current players and other cultural youth icons”.

The Advertising Standards Authority agreed and cleared the ad to appear again.

It said: “The ASA considered that, as a recently-retired footballer, David Beckham would be likely to hold general appeal for some children.

“Nonetheless, we noted that he had not played for a UK club in the last decade and was therefore unlikely to have particular resonance for children on the basis of his sporting career alone, or have strong appeal on that basis.

“We understood that Alcohol Concern specifically noted that Beckham had won a Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Sports ‘Legend’ award earlier this year, and that they felt this demonstrated a strong appeal to children.

“However, we also understood that the award’s recipient was chosen by Nickelodeon, rather than being voted on by children, and that the award was primarily an American one.

“We considered that, although it suggested the potential for some appeal to children, the opinion of the largely-American Nickelodeon channel was insufficient to demonstrate that Beckham held strong appeal to children in the UK.”

It added: “We also noted that Beckham had been prominently involved in promoting Sainsbury’s Active Kids and UNICEF campaigns, but considered that these were unlikely to contribute particularly to his appeal to children or to indicate that he had a strong appeal to them.

“We noted that Beckham was widely known for his commercial and ambassadorial roles, as well as his family, albeit with football as the reason for his initial fame.

“We considered that, although Beckham’s early career would have meant that he held strong appeal to children at that time, the shift from football to commercial ventures, as well as his move to play in foreign leagues and subsequent retirement from football, meant that he was no longer likely to hold such appeal to children in 2014.”