• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

On this day: Born May 2, 1975: David Beckham, English footballer

In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

SHOWS: MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UK (AUGUST 13, 1996) (ACTION IMAGES - MANDATORY CREDIT:ACTION IMAGES) (MUTE)

1. STILL PICTURE OF MANCHESTER UNITED'S DAVID BECKHAM WITH THE ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP TROPHY

BARCELONA, SPAIN (MAY 25, 1999) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

2. MANCHESTER UNITED LOGO ON BOARD, PULLBACK TO TEAM TRAINING

3. BECKHAM TRAINING

4. MANCHESTER COACH ALEX FERGUSON IN OLD MANCHESTER SHIRT

BARCELONA, SPAIN (MAY 26, 1999) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

5. BECKHAM WALKING WITH EUROPEAN CUP

BARCELONA, SPAIN (MAY 26, 1999) (ACTION IMAGES - MANDATORY CREDIT: ACTION IMAGES) (MUTE)

6. STILL PHOTO OF BECKHAM HOLDING UP THE EUROPEAN CUP

LONDON, UK (AUGUST 15, 2000) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

7. BECKHAM AND WIFE VICTORIA POSE FOR CAMERAS

SAPPORO, JAPAN (JUNE 6, 2002) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

8. BECKHAM TRAINING BEFORE MATCH WITH ARGENTINA

SAPPORO, JAPAN (JUNE 7, 2002) (REUTERS PICTURES - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

9. STILL OF BECKHAM SCORING PENALTY TO BEAT ARGENTINA

10. STILL OF BECKHAM CELEBRATING

MADRID, SPAIN (APRIL 7, 2003) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

11. INTERIOR OF SANTIAGO BERNABEU STADIUM

12. BECKHAM TRAINING

13. TEAM JOGGING

14. EXTERIOR OF SANTIAGO BERNABEU STADIUM

15. FERGUSON

MADRID, SPAIN (JULY 2, 2003) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

16. BECKHAM BEING PRESENTED TO FANS

17. YOUNG BOY RUNS ON TO PITCH AND HUGS BECKHAM

MADRID, SPAIN (JUNE 15, 2007) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

18. BECKHAM TRAINING WITH REAL MADRID

MADRID, SPAIN (JUNE 17, 2007) (TELEMADRID - NO ACCESS SPAIN)

19. VARIOUS OF REAL MADRID TEAM CELEBRATING WINNING THE SPANISH LEAGUE TITLE AT PLAZA DE CIBELES IN SPAIN AND ON TOP OF BUS

20. CLOSE UP OF DAVID BECKHAM ON BUS

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JULY 22, 2007) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

21. DAVID AND VICTORIA BECKHAM, TOM CRUISE AND KATIE HOLMES, AND WILL AND JADE PINKETT SMITH ALL HOLD HANDS AND POSE FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 10, 2007) (ESPN INTERNATIONAL - SCHEDULED NEWSCASTS ONLY. NO USE USA. NO USE INTERNET/WIRELESS)

22. BECKHAM RUNS ONTO PITCH ON DEBUT FOR LA GALAXY

LONDON COLNEY, NEAR LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MAY 28, 2007) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

23. BECKHAM TRAINING WITH ENGLAND FOLLOWING RECALL

MILAN, ITALY (December 20, 2008) (REUTERS PICTURES - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

24. BECKHAM SHAKES HANDS WITH AC MILAN'S VICE PRESIDENT ADRIANO GALLIANI. THE LOS ANGELES GALAXY PLAYER JOINED AC MILAN ON LOAN IN JANUARY 2008

BREMEN, GERMANY (FEBRUARY 17, 2009) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

25. BECKHAM ARRIVES AT STADIUM WITH AC MILAN PLAYERS

26. BECKHAM TRAINING WITH AC MILAN

LOS ANGELES, USA (AUGUST 11, 2010) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

27. BECKHAM AT LA GALAXY TRAINING SESSION

CARSON, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES. (DECEMBER 1, 2012) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

28. BECKHAM RUNNING ON TO FIELD FOR HIS LAST GAME FOR L A GALAXY

29. BECKHAM WITH MSL CUP

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (DECEMBER 11, 2012) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

30. DAVID AND VICTORIA BECKHAM AT PREMIERE WITH SONS BROOKLYN, ROMEO AND CRUZ

PARIS, FRANCE (JANUARY 31, 2013) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

31. BECKHAM AT PHOTO CALL HOLDING PSG SHIRT WITH NASSER AL-KHELAIFI (LEFT) AND PSG DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL LEONARDO

PARIS, FRANCE (FEBRUARY 13, 2013) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

32. BECKHAM TRAINING WITH PSG PLAYERS

PARIS, FRANCE (MAY 18, 2013) (REUTERS PICTURES - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

33. BECKHAM WITH LIGUE 1 TROPHY

CARSON, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (MARCH 2, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

34. STATUE OF SOCCER PLAYER DAVID BECKHAM BEING UNVEILED AFTER COUNTDOWN

35. FACE OF STATUE

36. BECKHAM AND WIFE, FASHION DESIGNER VICTORIA BECKHAM, POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS NEXT TO STATUE

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA (FEBRUARY 26, 2020)

37. VARIOUS OF BECKHAM AT PRESS EVENT FOR HIS MLS INTER MIAMI FRANCHISE

STORY: When an 11-year-old David Beckham walked into a local newspaper office in east London with his mother in 1986 the trainee reporter summoned to reception could never have known he was about to meet a future international football and cultural icon.

Speaking in barely a whisper, the blonde-haired schoolboy, prompted by mum Sandra, said he had won the Bobby Charlton Soccer Schools skills competition and a trip to train with Barcelona, then managed by Terry Venables.

A story went out, one of a multitude that in years to come would chronicle a Roy of the Rovers tale that took the son of a plumber to fame and fortune beyond his wildest dreams.

Six years later, Beckham fulfilled his childhood ambition by making his first-team debut for Manchester United before going on to captain his country and become a Galactico at Real Madrid.

Beckham, one of the so-called "Class of 92", went on to win six Premier League titles under Alex Ferguson at United alongside youth-team buddies Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, and Gary and Phil Neville.

Beckham also won two FA Cups and, memorably, the Champions League in 1999. He topped up his trophy collection with a La Liga winners' medal for Real Madrid and added two MLS Cups during a north American adventure with LA Galaxy.

That barely begins to tell the story, though.

Midfielder Beckham, widely regarded as one of the sweetest strikers of a football in English soccer history, was destined for more than the sports pages.

In 1999, he married one of the Spice Girls, a British pop music sensation at the time, becoming one half of the country's new Golden Couple.

Instead of "just" being a key cog in Manchester United's dominant team of the 1990s and early 2000s, he became a brand, as big a name off the pitch as on it.

High-end companies fell over themselves to sign Beckham up. On billboards around the world, he modelled everything from expensive underpants to watches and sunglasses.

Actors Tom Cruise and George Clooney became pals and even Prince Harry was keen to socialise with soccer royalty.

"Bend it Like Beckham" became a box-office smash and Beckham was even credited with winning London's bid to host the 2012 World Cup, his charm helping sway the IOC vote.

Even after his playing days, father-of-four Beckham is rarely out of the news. He part owns new MLS franchise Inter Miami as well as Salford City.

The door to all that, and an estimated net worth of $450 million, was opened by football gifts.

Venables recalled meeting that boyish Beckham at Barcelona's Nou Camp,

"As we said goodbye I made sure I would not forget his name," he said.

Had his grandfather got his way, Beckham would have signed for Tottenham Hotspur, then managed by Venables. The forms were already printed out, but Beckham only had eyes for United.

After helping them win the FA Youth Cup in 1992, Beckham made his first-team debut months later in the League Cup.

He returned from a brief loan spell at Preston to ignite his Old Trafford career, making his Premier League debut in 1994.

Ferguson's decision to give his "fledglings" their wings at the start of the 1995-96 season initially raised eyebrows. Pundit Alan Hansen famously quipped "you'll never win anything with kids," after an opening-day loss to Aston Villa.

Instead, with Beckham flowering as United's right-side midfielder, they scooped the Premier League and FA Cup double.

On the first day of the next season, Beckham launched a 60-metre shot from inside his own half over Wimbledon goalkeeper Neil Sullivan and the world sat up and took notice.

Weeks later Glenn Hoddle handed him his England debut and he went on to earn 115 caps. From 2000 to 2006 he was captain.

Beckham's celebrity status infuriated some, straining his relationship with Ferguson so much that the fiery Scot famously threw a boot at him in 2003 and cut his eye.

When he was red-carded for kicking Argentina's Diego Simeone in the last 16 of the 1998 World Cup, fans and media lambasted Beckham for the defeat. A Beckham effigy was strung up outside a London pub, such was the venom aimed his way.

Yet out of adversity, Beckham grew. He led England to a famous 5-1 win over Germany in a World Cup qualifier in 2001 and his metamorphosis from villain to hero was complete when he curled in a trademark free kick against Greece at Wembley to clinch a place in the 2002 tournament.

Although England's so-called "Golden Generation" never managed to land a trophy, Beckham went past Bobby Moore's appearance record for an outfield player in 2009 before injury ended his hopes of playing at the 2010 World Cup and his international career.

Post-United Beckham never quite scaled the same heights at club level.

When he joined Real Madrid in 2003, 500 journalists turned up for his unveiling at the Bernabeu.

It was not until his final season in 2006-07, however, that Real won La Liga, by which time the Beckham circus was plotting a course for LA Galaxy and the Hollywood stage his fairytale career demanded.

(Production: Andy Ragg)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting