When word got out that David Beckham was filming a whisky advertisement on Hanover Street, word spread like wildfire in city centre shops and offices, and on social media.
Within an hour, more than 200 fans had gathered outside 99 Hanover Street as fans of all ages waited all afternoon for a glimpse of the international icon and the chance of the ultimate celebrity selfie.
The windows of the bar had been blacked out and a double row of black curtains erected which allowed the crowd occasional tantalising glimpses inside. Just before 4pm, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder made a fleeting appearance at the front entrance of the bar before disappearing out of the back door into a waiting Jaguar. Hearts fans should probably not read too much into the fact the Jaguar was maroon.
Security workers with earpieces stood at the screened-off bar to make sure no one interrupted the shoot, while police officers were also drafted in to prevent the excitable crowd from spilling onto the busy road.
Onlookers said they were eager to see the famous visitor, who was staying at the Balmoral Hotel, in the flesh.
Nadia Zokhrouf, 39, from Powderhall, said: “I turned up on my lunch break after my friend sent me a link to an online article.
“I have been a fan for years.”
Meanwhile, Maggie Wylie, 59, had run round the corner from the Church of Scotland offices where she works on George Street.
She said: “My daughter said she’d heard he was in the George Street area, she said David Beckham had been dropped off in a Land Rover.”
And Lauren Williamson, 23, said: “We got a call from one of our friends and we thought it would be good fun.
“It’s a glorious day and we thought it would be a chance to see a celeb.
“I think it’s hard to not like Beckham. I’m not a big fan of football but definitely a big fan of him. He just seems really down to earth.”
Evelyn McLennan, from Bellevue, had been getting her hair done in the nearby Ishi salon when she heard about the celebrity just a few doors along.
The 59-year-old said: “He is so lovely, he is eye candy even at my age. And he couldn’t have picked a better day. He appeals to the masses.”
Hairdresser Isla McNeish, 34, who works at Ishi, said: “I just walked past and wondered what was going on. It’s just brilliant – it’s really good for Edinburgh. I think he comes across as a really nice guy.”
And it wasn’t just the girls who were waiting patiently for Beckham, who was filming an advertisement for Haig Club whisky, which he launched last month with Diageo and entrepreneur Simon Fuller.
Guy Melville had been working on an office refurbishment nearby when he heard Beckham was on Hanover Street.
The 29-year-old said: “I wanted to try and get a selfie and see if he wanted to go for a pint.”
When Beckham eventually nipped out of the bar to wave to his fans, the crowd surged to get the best picture of him.
Tynecastle High pupil Mason Dickson, 16, managed to capture his idol on his smartphone. “I’m chuffed that I got a picture,” he said.
The footballing icon is understood to have landed in a private jet at Edinburgh Airport yesterday.