Ever since they got married nearly 20 years ago, soccer star David Beckham and his wife, the Spice Girl formerly known as “Posh Spice,” Victoria Adams, have been drawing our attention. Whether it be because of their lavish lifestyle (that was kicked off thanks to an equally-lavish wedding), or it be because of their gorgeous children, or it be because of their seeming inability to keep their hands off one another because they’re so in love, the Beckhams have been capturing our attention for more than two decades, and rightfully so.
But there’s more to the Beckhams than meets the eye. Prior to becoming a bit of a pop culture sensation as a couple, David Beckham – as was previously mentioned – was best known as a soccer star, and Victoria Adams was best known for her work in the Spice Girls. Still, the couple are much stronger together than they ever will be apart.
Here are 15 things you didn’t know about the Beckhams.
15. Victoria Comes From Money – And She’s Embarrassed By It
As her name indicates, “Posh Spice” grew up very wealthy. And while it’s not a surprise that the female half of the Beckhams grew up with more money than God – thanks to her electrical engineer father and her insurance clerk mother – what’s surprising is that young Victoria was ashamed of the fact that she grew up rich. “My dad worked really hard and it was always his ambition to own a Rolls-Royce. So when he got his Rolls-Royce, he used to drive us to school in it every day and I was just mortified. We used to beg him to just drop us at the end of the road. He had a van for work and we used to beg him to take us in the van,” she said in an interview with Glamour Magazine. That didn’t stop her from carrying her books in an oversized Gucci handbag, however.
14. David Has 40 Tattoos
David Beckham is just as known for his tattoos as he’s known for his soccer playing. But what most people don’t know about the male half of the Beckhams is that he got one for every year of his life, and did it for that very purpose. His tattoos, as a whole, don’t have a particular theme – some tattoos feature Christian imagery, others are tributes to his children, and still others contain his favorite words and sayings. While he and his wife have matching tattoos, in some cases, he also has some tattoos that are tributes to Victoria and their children, and some others that are tributes to his time on the soccer field. He may have wanted to reconsider that “Brooklyn” tramp stamp, however.
13. The Couple Stormed Out Of An Eminem Concert
Eminem is known for being one of the greatest rappers of all time, but he’s also known for being a provocateur. This was especially true in the early years of his career, when he was known for taking his ex-wife, Kim Mathers, to task for everything under the sun, including cheating on him and being a lousy mother to their daughter, Hayley. So it’s no surprise that the Beckhams, who probably had a more conservative sensibility than Eminem could have possibly offered, were shocked and horrified by him. According to a report, they went to a concert of his very early on in his career, and they were so appalled by his performance – which allegedly included him wielding a chainsaw, simulating gay sex with a 10-foot synthetic penis, and sitting in a mock electric chair – that they stormed out.
12. David Wears Victoria’s Thongs
We get it: the Beckhams are in love, and it’s absolutely adorable, and we should all be so in love with our partners. But the couple has a very weird way of showing their love for one another: in addition to the two tattoos that Victoria has on her wrist as a tribute to David, and the dozens of tattoos David has in tribute to his wife and family, David likes to wear Victoria’s thong underwear. Now, we’re not ones to tell couples what to do in their private lives – if it makes you happy, do it, and if it makes your partner happy, do it twice – but maybe, just maybe, Victoria shouldn’t have told everyone in the press about it. When word got out, David got ribbed from his teammates for months thereafter.
11. The Couple Went Through A Really Rough Patch Before Their Son, Cruz, Was Born
For a while, the Beckhams were thought to be the ultimate power couple. But in 2004, Rebecca Loos – a “model” of sorts who has become a C-list personality – sold her story to the British tabloid News of the World, claiming that she and Becks were having an affair. The affair, according to Loos, happened when she was serving as a personal assistant to the Beckhams. What’s more, she claimed that David didn’t really love Victoria, that he was turned off by her, and that she was ugly because of her ongoing problems with eating disorders. David claimed that the story was “ridiculous,” but he never denied the story, and he never took legal action against Loos for her allegedly “ridiculous” claims. Shortly after the whole report of the affair blew over, Cruz was born. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, however, because he was labeled a “Band-Aid” baby, born solely to fix the marriage of the couple.
10. The Couple Is Worth Mega-Money ($700 Million!)
When Victoria performed in the Spice Girls reunion tour, she reportedly took home a cool $20 million for her efforts to put on the “little black Gucci dress” one last time. But what most people don’t know about the Beckhams is that, even though individually they make enough money to last several lifetimes, collectively, the couple is worth more than $700 million. This money, of course, takes other things into account, such as their respective sponsorships and outside businesses, but it also takes into account the money that their two oldest sons, Brooklyn and Romeo, bring in due to their respective modelling careers. And they live the high life, too: in addition to their castle-like estate in England, they live on a 40 acre estate in Los Angeles, CA, where David plays for the soccer team, the Galaxy.
9. Victoria Is Notoriously Cheap
When the Beckhams got married in 1999, it was the most lavish wedding of the year. Reports suggested that the couple spent as much as $800,000 on their nuptials, which was held in a castle and was featured on the cover of every major magazine. (Later on, David Beckham even admitted that his wedding was “over the top” and he would have been best served to spend the money elsewhere.) However, what most people don’t realize is that despite all the money that was spent, the Beckhams were looking to save money every way they could. In fact, Victoria’s mother – who helped plan the wedding – was asking different wedding vendors to do Victoria and David’s wedding for free, or for less than they would normally charge, in exchange for “publicity.”
8. The Couple Wasn’t Sure If They Could Have Kids
Between Victoria’s battles with eating disorders and her diagnosis, at the age of 20, with polycystic ovaries, the Beckhams weren’t sure they could have children. So, when Victoria discovered she was pregnant with Brooklyn, it came as a surprise to them both. Today, the couple has four children: sons Brooklyn, Romeo, and Cruz, and daughter Harper. Incidentally, Brooklyn was so named because the couple was conceived in Brooklyn, and they named him in the New York City borough’s honor. Brooklyn, however, was born before the couple got married, so he was present at the couple’s lavish wedding (and looked absolutely adorable).
7. David First Began Playing Soccer At The Age Of 11
Before he became known as one-half of the Beckhams, David was obviously known for his work on the soccer field. What most people don’t know, however, is that he first started playing soccer professionally when he was 11 years old. At that time, he enrolled in the Bobby Charlton Soccer Schools National Skills competition. Unsurprisingly, he won, earning himself a trip to Barcelona as a reward. There, he got to show off his skills before a series of professional soccer scouts, where he was first spotted by Manchester United. And even though he wouldn’t be recruited for another ten years, MancUni (as they’re known in England) kept their eye on him, and clearly, they were impressed enough to scoop him up.
6. Victoria Tried To Get Free British Airways Flights For Life
The Beckhams, sometimes, get in the news for all the wrong reasons. Victoria was the Beckham that got in the news for the wrong reasons when, in 2000, a sanitation worker in London’s Heathrow Airport stole her Louis Vuitton luggage. That was a terrible thing to happen, and she certainly deserved our sympathy, however, the sympathy for her wore off when she demanded free British Airways travel for life as compensation. (Not that she shouldn’t have been recompensed for her struggles, but asking for a lifetime of international flights is a bit much.) The airline refused, however, and gave her $200,000 in recompense instead. Nice consolation prize…
5. David Helped Create Their Charitable Foundation
The Beckhams are rich, no doubt, but what most people don’t know is that they also have a charitable foundation that bears their name. The foundation donates a lot of money to UNICEF in the Beckhams’ name, but it also does a lot of work independently. The Victoria and David Beckham Charitable Trust focuses on children with illnesses and disabilities. But what the foundation is best known for, and best commended for, is their wheelchair work – they donate to charities for poor children who need them but otherwise can’t afford them.
4. David Has A Lifetime Endorsement From Adidas
It’s very hard for an athlete to get paid sponsorships of any kind, let alone from a company that other athletes use. But what most people don’t know is that the mega-money that the Beckhams are worth is due, in no small part, to David’s lifetime endorsement from the athletic company Adidas. In 2003, he signed the original lifetime contract, which nets him a cool $160 million. This lifetime contract was considered the largest of its kind back when he signed it, and to date, it’s the only lifetime contract that has made headlines or has been given to an athlete in modern times. (He also still has it, thanks in no small part to his proper behavior in public.)
3. Victoria Met David At A Charity Event
The Beckhams were known as “Posh and Becks” in the British tabloid press, which was all sorts of adorable, but they didn’t officially become “Posh and Becks” or the Beckhams until 1997, when they linked up at a charity soccer event. Victoria’s now-business partner and former Spice Girls manager, Simon Fuller, was a huge Manchester United (the team David used to play for) fan, so they went to the game together. Afterwards, Simon introduced the two. According to Victoria, she loved the fact that David was sitting with his family – which included his parents and his siblings – because she, herself, is close to her family as well. The feeling must have been mutual, because David admitted he had a “crush” on her and asked to be set up on a date with her not long after. How sweet!
2. Victoria Has Had A Successful Second Career As A Fashion Designer
The Beckhams may have become known to us for one reason, but today, they’re known for entirely different reasons – namely, for their contributions to fashion as we know it. David has been involved in some modelling campaigns, but Victoria is really shining in her second career as a fashion designer. Even though she’s been interested in fashion since she was a little girl, Victoria’s career as a fashion designer didn’t take off until 2009, when she released her first collection during NY Fashion Week. (Prior to this, she’d walked the runway for a few designers, like Marc Jacobs.) Since the line’s debut, famous people have given Victoria the co-sign, and people like First Lady Michelle Obama and actress Blake Lively have been known to wear her clothes.
1. David Has A Soccer Resume To Die For
It’s easy to dismiss David’s career as a soccer player as a joke, because he’s now known as one-half of “The Beckhams.” But the reality is, his soccer resume is only rivalled by that of other soccer demigods like Pele and Diego Maradona. At 21 years old, he became a team captain, making him one of the youngest to ever earn the title. He continued to play in this capacity for the next seven years, which is impressive by any measure. During his 115 appearances as the team captain, he led the team through three World Cups and two UEFA European Championships, which is more than nearly any other team captain in modern history has done. There was even a movie – Bend it like Beckham – made in his honor, wherein the protagonists of the film were learning how to play soccer as good as the titular Beckham. These honors wouldn’t be bestowed on him if he couldn’t play.