The former Manchester United soccer star has always had the support of his dad and mom
The love of soccer runs deep in David Beckham’s veins, thanks to his parents, Ted Beckham and Sandra West.
His dad and mom were such fanatical supporters of the professional soccer club Manchester United that they frequently traveled 200 miles from their London home just to attend matches with their kids. The couple wed in 1969 and welcomed three children, including their son David and daughters Lynne Georgina and Joanne Louise. In 2002, Ted and Sandra got divorced after 33 years of marriage.
David has said that he bonded with his father over their mutual passion for soccer and Manchester United, for whom the U.K. superstar eventually went on to play. More significantly, Ted taught him how to play soccer from childhood, every night after work, to hone his skills.
“We’d started by kicking a ball about in the back garden, but I was murdering the flowerbeds so, after he got in from his job as a heating engineer, we’d go to the park together and just practise and practise for hours on end,” David wrote in his 2003 autobiography, David Beckham: My Side.
The former English soccer star, once the highest-paid player in the world, also credits his mother for his success. “My mum was the one that was driving me to training, to games when my dad was working,” he said in the Disney+ 2022 docuseries Save Our Squad with David Beckham. He later said, “I as a parent now, realize how much my parents gave up for me.”
From their personal careers to their constant support, here's everything to know about David Beckham’s parents, Ted Beckham and Sandra West.
David credits his parents for his work ethic
Ted was an Essex heating engineer and appliance repairman who installed domestic boilers for a living, while Sandra worked as a hairstylist in nursing homes.
In an interview with The Father Hood, David spoke about their tireless work ethic, opening up about what it was like seeing them put in the effort for their family of five.
“When we were kids he used to go out to work at six o’clock in the morning and often come home at nine o’clock at night," David said. "My mum was the same — she used to work during the day and then in the evenings, once my sisters and I were in bed, she’d do hairdressing until 12 o’clock at night.”
Ted and Sandra have three children
Ted and Sandra first welcomed daughter Lynne in 1972, followed by David in 1975 and Joanne in 1982.
The former couple are also grandparents of eight. David shares four children — Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper — with his wife Victoria Beckham. Meanwhile, Lynne has three kids — Freddie, Georgina and Josh — with her ex-husband Colin Every. Joanne has a daughter, Peggy, with Big Brother U.K. participant Kris Donnelly, from whom she separated shortly after giving birth.
Ted and Sandra also have one great-granddaughter, who is the child of their granddaughter, Georgina, named Winter Rose.
They divorced in 2002
In his autobiography, David wrote about his parents' relationship and noted that Ted loved Sandra, although he didn't show affection toward her in front of him or his sisters.
"He's quite hard-faced and can be sarcastic," David wrote. “He also gets fired up easily ... The quality I like least in myself is my short temper. I think I get it from my dad."
Nearly two decades after Ted and Sandra divorced, David's dad found love again. In December 2021, Ted married Hilary Meredith, a law professor and advocate, in London. The couple met through their charity work for military veterans at Broughton House Veteran Care Village and announced their engagement in March 2020.
David stood by his father’s side as his best man and later posted a photo on Instagram of himself fixing Ted's tie right before the ceremony.
“Beautiful day celebrating my dad and Hillary’s wedding," he captioned pictures of him and the newlyweds at the special event. "Amazing to be together with all the family. So proud to be there for my dad like he’s always been there for me. Love you dad.”
David wanted to win for Ted
In the Save Our Squad docuseries, David said, “My dad was my inspiration, I wanted to win for him.” By the time David was a toddler, Ted was making balls out of rolled-up socks for him to kick.
“All the strengths in my game are the ones Dad taught me in the park 20 years ago,” David wrote in My Side. His father pushed him tirelessly until he was satisfied with his performance, but he revealed that it was all Ted wanted to do anyway. “I was lucky Dad was so willing to do it with me,” he shared.
When asked to recall his father’s best piece of advice in an interview with The Father Hood, David said it was to "never give up — no matter what."
“If I got a kick in a game, I’d look over to him and he’d be like, ‘Get up! Get up! Don’t show people that you’re hurt!’ " he continued. "There was a steeliness that he kind of instilled into me on that side. It actually made me stronger as a person.”
They were not initially supportive of David’s relationship with now-wife Victoria
"We were worried he would lose all that he worked for because football had always come first and then all of a sudden it wasn't," she said in a trailer.
Today, David and Victoria have been married for more than 20 years. For their 24th wedding anniversary in 2023, he dedicated a tribute to her on Instagram. "On this day 4.7.99 ❤️ 24 years and counting 👵🏼 👴🏼 To the best wife , mummy & drinking partner ( most of the time 🤪 ) Happy Anniversary love u so much ❤️,” he wrote.
Ted’s book caused a rift between him and David
Ted wrote in his unauthorized 2005 book, David Beckham: My Son, that it was difficult for him and Sandra to cope with David’s fame.
"All the hype, all the stress, all the attention — it wasn't a world we were used to and it was very tough. I don't think we were really prepared for it — although I'm not sure there's much you can do to prepare yourself," he wrote, per The Mirror.
He added, "You just get swept along in it and bowled along. But it does wear you down."
Ted’s relationship with David previously experienced hardship when the soccer star signed with the Spanish team Real Madrid in 2003. Ted reportedly disagreed with the transfer and was insulted that he heard the news through David's manager, saying it hit him like a “sledgehammer,” according to The Sun.
After publicly accusing Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson of being behind the "betrayal," Ted wasn't invited to David's signing. The father of three wrote that he feared he'd lost his son forever at the time.
David and Ted reunited after a health scare
In September 2007, David reconciled with his father when Ted suffered a near-fatal heart attack and was rushed into surgery.
David immediately flew to his father’s bedside from the U.S., where he had just transferred to the L.A. Galaxy team. The traumatic incident was a wake-up call for the pair, who have remained close ever since. They talked about their bond in a short Father's Day film for David's whisky brand, Haig Club, in June 2019.
Reminiscing about his childhood, David shared, per The Sun, "The moment I got home from school, I'd turn around to you and say, 'Let's go to the park or let's go out in the garden.' And you never said no to me."
He continued, “When you actually become a parent, it changes you in so many different ways," to which Ted replied, "You just want to be with them. It does make you grow up and feel special."
David's father then added: "You've turned out exactly how I wanted you."
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