David Robert Joseph Beckham - biography
David Robert Joseph Beckham, OBE (born 2 May 1975) is an English footballer who currently plays in midfield for Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer, having previously played for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, and Milan, as well as the England national team, for whom he holds the all-time appearance record for an outfield player.
Beckham's career began when he signed a professional contract with Manchester United, making his first-team debut in 1992 aged 17. During his time there, United won the Premier League title six times, the FA Cup twice, and the UEFA Champions League in 1999. He left Manchester United to sign for Real Madrid in 2003, where he remained for four seasons, clinching the La Liga championship in his final season with the club. In January 2007, it was announced that Beckham would leave Real Madrid for the Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy, signing a five-year contract with them on 1 July 2007. While a Galaxy player, he has also spent two loan spells in Italy with Milan in 2009 and 2010.
In international football, Beckham made his England debut on 1 September 1996 aged 21. He was made captain from 15 November 2000 until the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, during which he played 58 times. He earned a much-publicised hundredth cap against France on 26 March 2008. He became the all-time outfield player appearance record holder on 28 March 2009 when he surpassed Bobby Moore's total of 108 caps. With 115 career appearances to date he has stated that does not intend to retire from international football, having missed the 2010 World Cup through injury and not featuring in England manager Fabio Capello's post-World Cup plans.
Beckham has twice been runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year and in 2004 was the world's highest-paid footballer when taking into account salary and advertising deals. Beckham was the first British footballer to play 100 Champions League matches. He was Google's most searched of all sports topics in both 2003 and 2004. With such global recognition he has become an elite advertising brand and a top fashion icon. When joining the MLS in 2007 he was given the highest player salary in the league's history, with his playing contract with the Galaxy over the next three years being worth $6.5m per year.
Beckham is married to former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham (née Adams). The couple have three sons and currently reside in Beverly Hills, California.
Beckham was born at Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, London, England. He is the son of David Edward Alan "Ted" Beckham (b. Edmonton, London, July–September 1948), a kitchen fitter, and wife (m. London Borough of Hackney, 1969) Sandra Georgina West (b. 1949), a hairdresser. He regularly played football in Ridgeway Park, Chingford, as a child, and attended Chase Lane Primary School and Chingford Foundation School. In a 2007 interview, Beckham said that, "At school whenever the teachers asked, 'What do you want to do when you're older?' I'd say, 'I want to be a footballer.' And they'd say, 'No, what do you really want to do, for a job?' But that was the only thing I ever wanted to do." Beckham's maternal grandfather was Jewish, and Beckham has referred to himself as "half Jewish" and spoken of the influence the religion has had on him. In his book Both Feet on the Ground, he stated that growing up he always attended church with his parents and his two sisters, Joanne and Lynne. His parents were fanatical Manchester United supporters who would frequently travel to Old Trafford from London to attend the team's home matches. David inherited his parents' love of Manchester United, and his main sporting passion was football. He attended one of Bobby Charlton's football schools in Manchester and won the chance to take part in a training session at FC Barcelona, as part of a talent competition. He played for a local youth team called the Ridgeway Rovers – coached by his father, Stuart Underwood and Steve Kirby. Beckham was a Manchester United mascot for a match against West Ham United in 1986. Young Beckham had trials with his local club Leyton Orient, Norwich City and attended Tottenham Hotspur's school of excellence. Tottenham Hotspur was the first club he played for. During a two-year period in which Beckham played for Brimsdown Rovers' youth team, he was named Under-15 Player of the Year in 1990. He also attended Bradenton Preparatory Academy, but signed schoolboy forms at Manchester United on his fourteenth birthday, and subsequently signed a Youth Training Scheme contract on 8 July 1991.