5 Things You Never Knew About David Beckham

The most celebrated football player of his generation, David Beckham’s sporting prowess has led him to clinch 19 major football trophies over a career spanning 20 years. But there is much more to the formidable athlete than meets the eye. Here are five things about Beckham—in town recently for a business partnership with Marina Bay Sands — that may surprise you:

1. Beckham loves kids and is a champion of children’s causes.

As a doting father of four children (Brooklyn Joseph, 20, Romeo James, 17, Cruz David, 14, and Harper Seven, eight), it is no surprise Beckham has a big heart for kids. Appointed as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2005, he has travelled to places such as Cambodia and Sierra Leone to shed light on the plight of disenfranchised children.

On the 10th anniversary of his partnership with UNICEF, he launched 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund to create positive change for millions of children all over the world.

2. He loves his ink

As evidenced by the art on his body, Beckham is clearly a fan of tattoos. He has more than 50 tattoos, including the names of his wife and kids, tributes to each of them, a “We love you daddy” message by the boys, a stick-figure drawing by his daughter Harper, an ancient Chinese proverb and various quotes from the Bible, just to name a few.

3. He started his own media company, Studio 99

Since he hung up his jersey for good in 2013, Beckham has never stopped building his brand and keeping busy. Studio 99 is one of Beckham’s latest ventures. The firm will develop documentaries, TV programmes and other media content, while also doubling up as a creative agency for some of its partners.

The name aptly references 1999—the definitive year in Beckham’s life when he married former Spice Girl Victoria Adams. Their first child (son Brooklyn) was also born that year and he won the treble with Manchester United, which took the titles in the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League.

4. He is the co-owner of Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami

Also commonly called Inter Miami CF, this new professional team in Major League Soccer (MLS) is another way for Beckham to leave a legacy in the sport. As co-owner, Beckham is optimistic about the football club’s prospects.

“There are so many talented young kids in that part of America, and I think we have a chance to make a big entrance in MLS,” he says.

5. He is the subject of a university course

How many people can claim to have a course dedicated to the study of his career? Well, Beckham can. In 2000, students of Sport, Media and Culture at Staffordshire University in the United Kingdom had the opportunity to choose the 12-week module on football culture as part of their degrees. While Professor Ellis Cashmore stressed that the course would not focus solely on Beckham, it would cover the sociological implication of his career.