He is one of the most recognised men in the world, a symbol of modern celebrity culture, yet as former footballer, fashion designer and entrepreneur David Beckham turns 40 (on May 2) we look at 10 secrets you never knew about the man nicknamed Golden Balls.
David Beckham has come a long way since his days a young aspiring footballer from Leystone, London, England, whose life changed the moment her signed British club Manchester United as a trainee on July 8, 1991. Fastforward 24 years and he is one of the most recognised faces in the world – a celebrity all the celebrities want to be with. In fact, to celebrate his milestone birthday Beckham is flying to Marrakech with his wife Victoria Beckham, his dad and kids as well as and his A-list besties Tom Cruise, Guy Ritchie, Gordon Ramsay and Dave Gardner.
Around 60 close friends are said to be joining Beckham for his celebrations, which will take place at the five-star Amanjena resort where he renowned his vows with Victoria back in 2004.
The softly spoken star has come a long way since his cornrows and leather jumpsuit days. To celebrate the evolution of brand Beckham we look at 10 facts you probably didn’t know about David.
He wasn’t a Twitter fan, yet to mark his 40th birthday, David Beckham is giving back to his fans by finally getting an account. According to a source, despite having over 50 million likes on Facebook, he never saw the point of joining the social site until he saw pal Elton John showcase his wedding on Instagram. “It gave him the idea to do something similar on his birthday.”
He suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). As part of his obsession he is said to have three refrigerators – one for food, the second for salads and the third for drinks. David said of his condition: “I’ve got this obsessive compulsive disorder where I have to have everything in a straight line or everything has to be in pairs. I’ll put my Pepsi cans in the fridge and if there’s one too many then I’ll put it in another cupboard somewhere. I’ll go into a hotel room and before I can relax, I have to move all the leaflets and all the books and put them in a drawer. Everything has to be perfect.”
David also suffers from Ataxophobia (the fear of chaos) and Ornithophobia (the fear of birds).
During their wedding, which they sold to OK! Magazine, both David and Victoria had six outfit changes. For the vows they wore yellow ensembles like “two little buttercups”, for the blessing they dressed as Antony and Cleopatra and for the signing of the register they dolled up as John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
He has been officially declared a religious icon in Japan following a meeting of spiritual leaders in 2003. According to the Telegraph “up to 23 per cent of Japanese businessmen now halt office proceedings twice a day in order to turn and bow towards the Beckhams’ country estate in Hertfordshire.”
During his contract with Paris Saint-Germain, Beckham didn’t earn a single dirham. Instead he donated his entire salary to charity.
He is an embarrassing day. Romeo turns his cheek when his dad tries to kiss him in public, while Brooklyn makes his dad drop him off round the corner when going to school, though that didn’t stop Beckham from shaming him. Beckham explains: “He tells me to park around the corner, and then he gets out and he walks around to his school. So he did it to me the other day, after doing it about five times on the trot. So I’m driving around, and he’s just walking in his school, and I open the window and I said, ‘Brooklyn! I love you!’ And, you know, obviously it didn’t go down very well.” Beckham also famously upstaged Brooklyn while he made an Instagram video to celebrate reaching 1 million followers:
He has at least 20 tattoos across his body. These include Victoria’s name written in Hindi, the names of his sons and his daughter’s name, which is tattooed on his neck. He admits: “Most of my tattoos are memories and things that mean things to me.”
He is an extravagant gift giver. For one of Victoria’s birthdays he ditched the cliched flowers, chocolates and diamonds and bought her a winery in Napa Valley for a seven-figure sum.
He is a keen artist so much so that he once said if he didn’t have a successful career in football he probably would’ve pursued a career in art. He enjoys drawing cartoons in particular.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID FROM ALL AT EW HQ
Images: Giorgio Armani, H&M, Haig Club and Instagram
Words: Alexandria Gouveia and Yasmine Khammash