Football is about passion, romance and making dreams come true. That’s why we call it the beautiful game . . . and that’s why Stuart Pearce is way off target by omitting David Beckham from Team GB.

Forget the notion that Beckham is too old at 37. His old Manchester United buddy Ryan Giggs, a year older at 38, is one of the three over-age players selected by Pearce along with Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards.

Dismiss the argument that he’s not playing at a high enough level in the MLS. His LA Galaxy team-mate Robbie Keane has just skippered the Republic of Ireland at Euro 2012 and has one eye on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Torch bearer – David Beckham has been a leading light in bringing the Olympics to London

Please take no notice of the killjoys who do not agree that the fans who want to watch a locally born footballing icon in action at London 2012 should be given their wish. Heaven forbid that the paying customer should have a voice.

At the end of the day, Team GB has not competed at the Olympics since 1960 and this is a one-off representative side to celebrate London being the host nation.

More to the point Becks played a starring role in helping London win the vote to become the first city to stage its third Olympic Games. And his exclusion from the 18-man squad is a shocking slap in the face for a sporting hero who is a true ambassador both for the game and for Britain.

We all know that the former England captain is not the greatest British footballer who ever played the game. But he is nonetheless an outstanding talent . No one can bend it like Beckham. And he remains a remarkable sporting icon who should be a proud member of Team GB.

Shame on Stuart Pearce for failing to recognise Beckham’s role is far greater than a number on a shirt.