David Beckham
Beckham will have a role in the opening ceremony

David Beckham has been overlooked as one of three over-age players for Team GB's football squad for the London 2012 Olympics.

Coach Stuart Pearce has instead selected Welsh pair Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy, as well as England's Micah Richards as his three over-23 picks in his 18-man squad.

Having worked as an ambassador for the Olympic Games, Beckham was expected to be included in the squad, and his omission will come as shock to both the London Organising Committee and the British Olympic Association.

"Naturally I am very disappointed, but there will be no bigger supporter of the team than me," Beckham said.

"Everyone knows how much playing for my country has always meant to me. So I would have been honoured to have been part of this."

With many thousands of football tickets for the Olympic competition still unsold, LOCOG were relying on the inclusion of Beckham to spark an upturn in sales

Beckham had the honour of accompanying the Olympic flame to British shores, and lighting the torch ahead of its 8,000 mile trip around the country, before making its way to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford for the opening ceremony.

The former Manchester United midfield had stated his desire to compete in the Games, which in being hosted in the east-end of London, has local significance for the Leytonstone-born Beckham.

Instead, coach Pearce has decided to select Beckham's former team-mate at Old Trafford, Giggs, who retired from international football in 2007 and Liverpool's Bellamy.

The most controversial pick comes in the form of Richards, who after being left out of Roy Hodgson's preliminary European Championship squad, turned down the opportunity to be on the stand-by list following injury to Gareth Barry.

Pearce will unveil the remainder of his 18-man squad on 6 July.

Team GB face Senegal at Old Trafford on 26 July, United Arab Emirates at Wembley on 29 July and Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium on 1 August in their Olympic group games.

Both men's and women's teams will face warm-up matches against Brazil and Sweden respectively at the Riverside Stadium on 20 July, both sides' only opportunity to prepare before the Games.