London : David Beckham has presented a Pride of Britain award to an amazing teenager shot in head by the Taliban for protesting about education rights for girls.
Sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai was nominated by thousands of members of the public for her courage in standing up against the terrorists - just a year after they attacked her and almost killed her.
UNICEF ambassador Beckham was so impressed by her bravery he immediately agreed to present the award to her for tomorrow night’s Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards which honours unsung heroes. Malala giggled about David’s height as they lined up for the presentation, and said excitedly: “I didn’t know you would be here.” But she quickly recovered her composure and was soon quizzing the star about his role as a Unicef ambassador.
Malala’s story has stunned millions around the world and is tipped to be named as the youngest-ever recipient of a Nobel prize later this month.
The schoolgirl was shot by Taliban gunmen last October in an attempt to silence her calls for girls to have equal access to education where she lived in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. She was in a coma for eight days, and was flown to the UK to be treated by specialist surgeons at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, who fitted a titanium plate to her skull. But determined Malala refused to let the extremists win.
After starting at Edgbaston High School in Birmingham in March, she set up the Malala Fund, to help finance education for girls in disadvantaged countries, and received a standing ovation when she addressed the United Nations in New York about the need for change in July.
Presenting her with the Pride of Britain Teenager of Courage award in London, Beckham told her: “You’re an amazing young lady, a very special young lady, and your story has moved millions of people around the world. “I’m so privileged and honoured to present this Award to you.” He then told her father Ziauddin: “She’s such a brave young lady - you must be very proud of her.”
Malala said: “Thank you for giving me such a prestigious Award. It is such an honour to receive a Pride of Britain Award as it will help me continue my campaign and speak up for the rights of every child.”
The star- studded event - which will be attended by a host of top celebrities - takes place tomorrow evening at the Grosvenor House in London’s Park Lane. Also taking part in the ceremony to honour inspirational unsung heroes will be HRH Prince Charles, HRH Prince William, Jamie Oliver and Nicole Scherzinger.
Others taking part include sporting heroes such as Usain Bolt and Jenson Button, and TV stars Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, David Walliams and Jamie Oliver. Hosted by Carol Vorderman, it is one of the biggest awards shows on British TV and will be screened on Tuesday at 8pm on ITV1.