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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 February 2005, 12:05 GMT
The Beckhams in the spotlight
Victoria with son Brooklyn in 2004
Victoria's last single reached number three in January 2004
Victoria and David Beckham, Britain's most famous celebrity couple, are celebrating the birth of their third son, Cruz.

David Beckham, arguably the most talented English footballer of his era, would no doubt have been famous whoever he married.

But the choice of Victoria Adams, a member of The Spice Girls, the most famous pop group of the late 1990s, was manna from heaven for the British tabloids.

The Beckhams are expected to act as role models while the media dissects their every move - but once upon a time they were just like the rest of us... almost.

David was brought up in Leytonstone, east London, by parents, Ted, a kitchen-fitter, and Sandra, a hairdresser, while Victoria lived in affluent Goffs Oak, Hertfordshire.

The simple truth is that I am very happily married
David Beckham in 2004
Her father, electronics engineer Tony, used to drive her to school in a Rolls-Royce, and their house boasted a pool.

It was this background that led Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller to christen her Posh Spice. He also gave the band a catchy song called Wannabe.

It reached number one in 31 countries in 1996 and topped the UK chart for seven weeks.

Weeks after Wannabe went to number one, David seared himself on the public consciousness with a spectacular 50-yard goal against Wimbledon on the opening day of the 1996/7 season.

Within a month, he was in the England side.

David Beckham with sons Brooklyn, left, and Romeo, right
The Beckham boys may have inherited David's footballing skills
In 1997 he met Victoria when Sporty Spice, Melanie Chisholm, a Liverpool fan, came along to a United game at Old Trafford.

The Beckhams say it was love at first sight, and David knew Victoria was the woman he would marry.

After dating for six months, David proposed, and their engagement made front page news in all the tabloids.

David's profile reached a new level during the 1998 World Cup, when he was sent off for a petulant kick at Argentina's Diego Simeone.

Victoria was on tour in the US with The Spice Girls at the time and he flew to New York to be with her and escape the English press, which was castigating him for spoiling the team's chances.

It was in New York that their son, Brooklyn Joseph, was conceived.

On 4 March 1999, Victoria gave birth in London, and the couple married in a castle near Dublin, Republic of Ireland, four months later.

The guest list included Sir Elton John, David's Manchester United teammates and Victoria's fellow Spice Girls.

Photographs from the "wedding of the year" were sold to OK! magazine while critics said two thrones, the centrepieces of the event, were garish and symbolic of their giant egos.

After honeymooning in the south of France, the Beckhams set up home in a 2.5m luxury mansion in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire - dubbed "Beckingham Palace".

Victoria launched her solo career - but it quickly took a nosedive. Her album, VB, cost a reported 5m to make but only sold about 50,000 copies and she parted company with her record label, Virgin.

Family tattoos

At the other end of the spectrum, David cast aside his villain status to rise to the position of hero following his free kick against Greece which secured England's entry into the 2002 World Cup in Japan.

Victoria could not travel to Japan to be with her husband during his triumph because she was already heavily pregnant.

Romeo James Beckham was born on 1 September 2002 at the exclusive Portland Hospital in London.

David and Victoria have always worn their "happy family" credentials on their sleeves.

FAMOUS FOOTBALLERS' WIVES
Victoria and David appear on the chat show Parkinson
Wolves and England star Billy Wright married one of the Beverley Sisters, Joy, in the 1950s
George Best went out with Miss World Mary Stavin
Everton defender Pat van den Hauwe wed model Mandy Smith, the former wife of Bill Wyman, in 1993.
England midfielder Jamie Redknapp married pop star Louise Nurding (above) in 1998
He has Victoria's name - albeit misspelled - in Hindi tattooed on his arm. She has "DB" tattooed on her wrist.

His other works of body art include a guardian angel overlooking his first two sons' names.

And David's devotion to his family might have cost him the 10m a year he was reportedly earning at Old Trafford.

Brooklyn later showed he may have inherited his dad's footballing skills when he passed a three-day course at the Bobby Charlton Soccer School at the age of four.

In July 2003, David signed a 25m deal with Real Madrid, ending his time playing at the beloved team of his childhood heroes, Manchester United.

But in 2004, the downside of such fame reared its head when David was accused of having an affair and there were reports that their marriage was on the rocks.

David said at the time: "The simple truth is that I am very happily married, have a wonderful wife and two very special kids.

"There is nothing that any third party can do to change these facts."

With the completion of a potential three-part boy band, or maybe a future midfield trio, they seem to have put those troubles behind them.


SEE ALSO
Beckham gives birth to third son
20 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
Posh and Becks doubles to wed
09 Jan 05 |  North East Wales



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