The most recognisable footballer of the past decade was born on this day.
England captain, ambassador for the world game, role model and style icon; David Beckham has been all of these things and more.
Born on 2 May 1975, ‘Becks’ has been part of the public consciousness since his early career at Manchester United. A member of ‘Fergie's Fledglings’, the future England captain proved instrumental in the Premier League and FA Cup double-winning side of 1995-96, at just 21 years old.
It was the start of an illustrious career that would see him pick up six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and one UEFA Champions League with the Old Trafford outfit during a ten-year period that saw him cement his position as a Red Devil legend.
Four years with Spanish giants Real Madrid saw him claim a La Liga title, while stints at LA Galaxy and AC Milan have ensured Beckham has maintained his high profile and global appeal.
However, while always loved by club fans for his passion, commitment and ability, it was when he pulled on the Three Lions that those qualities truly shone through and had the nation effusing his unwavering contributions.
No player in the modern game has epitomised the national pride evoked from representing their country more than Beckham. A lesser player and personality could have crumpled after the events of the 1998 World Cup but the boy from Leytonstone bounced back stronger than ever to silence his critics, command their respect and become an international icon as he captained his country a total of 59 times to three major championships.
There is little argument that his career is now in its twilight but Beckham’s significance is undimmed. A possible role with Fabio Capello’s squad in South Africa is on the cards, while his ambassador status for England’s 2018 World Cup bid is integral to its success.
Beckham’s reputation now transcends football. Long after ‘Golden Balls’ has hung up his boots his impact on the game will remain.