It seems like only yesterday an awkward, red-shirted early-20-something started blazing a trail in British football.
Now, almost two decades, four kids and at least 50 hairstyles later, former England captain David Beckham today hits the big 4-0 (on 2 May).
To mark the occasion, David this morning joined Instagram, posting a sexy snap of himself in bed in Morocco where he’s spending his special day – and at last glance he’d amassed over 1m followers in a matter of hours!
He captioned the pic: ‘Good morning and hello! It’s great to finally be on Instagram, been a long time coming but I can’t wait to start sharing all my special moments with you. Thank you for all your birthday messages so far. Looking forward to a great day with friends and family x.’
Here we celebrate Victoria Beckham’s hubby by counting 14 ways in which we love him: from his hottest pictures to his most memorable quotes to his most iconic moments.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GOLDENBALLS!
1) His penchant for stripping down to his underwear at every available opportunity
The long-time H&M collaborator has a habit of promoting his wares with scantily-clad ads [see the above promotional image and below YouTube video] – with plenty of emphasis on his sizable package. ‘He does have a huge one, though,’ Vicky B once enthused. ‘It’s like a tractor exhaust pipe!’
2) He’s comfortable being a gay icon
David said in 2007: ‘I’m honored to have [that] tag. Maybe it’s because I like to look after myself – I like to look smart and presentable most of the time.’
3) He practically invented gender-fluid fashion.
This outfit caused a storm in 1999, but Becks said last year: ‘Sarongs are great. That’s one thing I never regret because I thought it looked great and I would still wear it now.’ Also: remember the time Victoria told Ali G her husband liked to wear her knickers?
4) This quote
‘There’s room for boys’ and girls’ football in the world. That’s what I believe.’
5) And this one
‘I always wanted to be a hairdresser.’
6) This photo
If ever more evidence was needed that tailored trousers are more flattering.
7) This magazine cover
He famously appeared on the June 2002 cover of gay men’s magazine Attitude – becoming one of the first sports stars to do so, ever.
8) His many, many raunchy photoshoots
Many moons ago, David dressed up kiiiiindof like a gay porn star for a photoshoot with the joyously unsubtle David LaChapelle. Cue several million sexual awakenings of the homo variety.
9) He loves dogs (so do we, David! So do we!)
Here he is cuddling up with his beloved Coco, who lives in the family home in LA and is often seen sporting painted nails.
10) He’s a great dad
Say what you like about the Beckhams – you can’t deny they’re great parents to 15-year-old Brooklyn [pictured], 12-year-old Romeo, nine-year-old Cruz, and Harper, three.
11) He’s married to a ‘gay man in a woman’s body’
That’s actually how Easy V has repeatedly self-defined. God love her.
12) He’s friends with Elton John
So much so, Elton’s even godfather to Brooklyn, and the family attended Elton’s wedding to David Furnish last year.
13) He once made Tom Daley’s day
Tom looks pleased as punch, doesn’t he?
14) His penchant for stripping down to his underwear at every available opportunity
Oh, did we already cover this one? From H&M to Emporio Armani, David’s services to fashion are duly noted. Posh must be pleased.
hotos: Instagram, Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, H&M, Armani