Victoria and David – a love story
David was smitten with Victoria the instant he laid eyes on her. ‘I was abroad with the England team. Gary Neville and I were in the hotel room and a Spice Girls video came on’, he says. ‘I pointed at the screen and told him, “That’s the girl for me and I’m going to get her”. It was her eyes , her face. She’s my idea of perfection.
Meanwhile, Victoria was also aware of the handsome, six-foot-tall footballer. ‘I was doing an interview for a soccer magazine and they showed me photos of different footballers. I had no idea who he was, but I just remembered thinking one word- gorgeous.’
Not long afterwards, Victoria came to see Manchester United play a game at Chelsea. ‘I had no idea she was there and we passed each other in the players’ lounge’, says David. ‘It was the moment I’d waited for and I blew it. I completely lost my bottle and we just waved at each other.’
Slowly after that, David was sitting in the dressing room at Old Trafford…’It was half-time and we were playing Sheffield Wednesday. The boss had finished talking and someone mentioned a couple of Spice Girls were in the stands. I jumped up and said, “Which ones?” – but whoever said it couldn’t remember. I managed to get my mind back on the game but I was looking up to see who it was. But I couldn’t see anyone.
After the match, David walked into the players’ lounge where, to his delight, he found Victoria, accompanied by Mel C. ‘I could feel myself getting nervous again when she walked over and started talking. As soon as she smiled I knew everything was going to be OK and we had a great night. We went out together and arranged to meet a few days later.’
From then on, the couple were inseparable- although they didn’t exchange a single kiss until their 4th date. ‘I’m glad I waited… it was a great kiss,’ says David. In the beginning, the couple went to great lengths to keep their relationship a secret. ‘We managed to keep it quiet for the first eight weeks. We used to fo out in disguises- hats, glasses, all sorts of ridiculous clothes, and it worked’, says Victoria.
The couple were at Victoria’s parents house when they revealed the depth of their feelings for each other for the very first time. ‘David told me that he loved me and I said , “I love you too”. And that was that.’
In January 1998, ten months into their relationship, David and Victoria announced their engagement to the world. ‘I am the happiest girl on the world today ‘ declared Victoria, speaking ar a press call in a hotel in Nantwich, Cheshire and showing off her solitaire diamond ring. ‘I’m with the man I know I’m going to grow old and wrinkly with.’
It was while Victoria was in America with the Spice Girls that she and David decided to get engaged.. ‘We’d already looked ar a few rings but I didn’t know which one he had chosen. I’d told him what my dream ring would be. He remembered and had it specially made for me.
We came here straight after the game and ordered dinner and champagne in our room. We were sitting there in our dressing gowns when David pulled out the ring, got down on one knee and said, “Will you marry me, Victoria?” I said yes, then produced my own ring and said, “Don’t forget Girl Power – will YOU marry me? I’d chosen the ring with my mum and dad in Los Angeles.’
Victoria had the full backing of the other Spice Girls. ‘Like our song says, “If you wanna be my lover, you’ve gotta get with my friends”, David knows that the other girls are very, very important to me and I’m not sure I would have gone through with if they didn’t support me.’
And David’s friends at Manchester United were equally thrilled to hear the news- although they couldn’t resist a little teasing.
‘When we announced our engagement, I got a load of stick from the lads in the dressing room,’ says David. ‘I walked in and they were whistling, Here comes the bride and stuff. But that’s what they are there for, to keep your feet on the ground.’
I Owe You
In celebrity land, where British soccer players rub shoulders with fashion designers, supermodels and pop stars, David Beckham is king. But it is his wife Victoria, the former “Posh Spice” girl, who put him on the throne.
She, more than anyone else, was the one who turned him from a footballer into a global icon, and if he does indeed leave Manchester United this summer for Barcelona, Madrid or Milan, it might well be down to her. “Posh Has Final Say” screamed the headline in London’s Evening Standard newspaper on Wednesday night amid frenzied speculation that Beckham is set to join Barcelona.
“David has to talk to her about it and see what she says before he decides,” it quoted Beckham’s father as saying. Before he met and married Victoria, Beckham was a good-looking, talented and likeable footballer with a bright future at Manchester United.
But that was about it.
Since he married her at a lavish ceremony in 1999, he has become the biggest celebrity British sport has ever produced, an icon for teenage girls and gay men across much of the globe and, according to many, the most influential man in the country.
“When they got together she was definitely the more popular of the two,” said Andrew Parker, expert in the sociology of sport at Warwick University.
“She certainly introduced him to a new circle of people and he became part of the soccerati because of her. All of a sudden he was an A-list celebrity.
“In the four years since then, however, we’ve seen his displacement of her in terms of fame and popular culture. We’ve seen the demise of her career and the rise of his.”
Posh Wears The Trousers
Tabloid newspapers have long speculated that, behind the high walls and iron gates of their “Beckingham Palace” mansion, Posh is the one who wears the trousers in their relationship. When the couple’s baby boy Brooklyn fell ill in 2000, Beckham skipped a United training session to look after him and was dropped from the team as a result. Many were convinced it was Posh who had insisted her husband stay at home.
Posh has never seen eye to eye with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who is thought to blame her for luring him away from the training ground to lead a showbiz lifestyle. Earlier this year, Beckham needed stitches above his eye after Ferguson kicked a football boot at him in a fit of post-match rage.
When Beckham turned up for training the next day, he had his hair swept back off his face and made no effort to hide his war wound from the waiting photographers.
Again, observers concluded, it was Victoria’s idea to publicise the incident in a bid to push Ferguson into a corner and shame him into an apology.
During a trip to the United States this month, Posh has worked hard to promote her husband to a U.S. public who, largely immune to the joys of soccer, would not have recognised him if they bumped into him in the Old Trafford car park.
She may appear to have taken a back seat, but Victoria is still at the forefront of the “Posh and Becks” project. “It’s a collective venture,” Parker said. “Irrespective of who’s on the A-list at any particular time, it must necessarily rub off on the other partner.”
So will Victoria give Barcelona the thumbs up? She has never warmed to Manchester and few would be surprised if she persuades her husband to leave Britain for a spell on the continent.
But in many ways, Milan – with its internationally renowned fashion houses – would provide a better backdrop than Barcelona for Posh to pursue her career and promote her husband.
If Victoria gets her way, the Beckhams might yet end up in Italy next season rather than Spain