Cambridge Professor Stephen Hawking is more of a role model to teenage boys than England football captain David Beckham, according to a new survey.
Hawking has defended a point of view for nearly 30 years
The academic came second in a poll to find the men most admired by 16 to 18-year-old boys.
He was just beaten by England's Rugby World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson in the survey of 500 teenage boys for Good Housekeeping magazine.
Prof Hawking said he was "honoured" to be placed highly in the poll.
The author of A Brief History of Time, quoted in the magazine, said: "Over the years I've been voted the second most intelligent person in Britain and was amused to be listed among the world's 10 sexiest men.
"But I'm honoured to be an inspiring role model. Thank you."
Good Housekeeping Top 10 boys' role models
1. Jonny Wilkinson
2. Stephen Hawking
3. David Beckham
4. Lennox Lewis
5. Ricky Gervais
6. Vinnie Jones
7. Jeremy Clarkson
8. Sir Richard Branson
Sir Stephen Redgrave
The 500 boys, who took part in the survey from across the country, were asked to choose their top role model from a list of 100 names.
The magazine then gave each name a score based
on the results.
Fly-half Wilkinson, who has been named as England's new Rugby Union captain, told the magazine: "I'm hugely flattered to come first, especially when I'm seen alongside Stephen Hawking.
"My own role models, who included basketball player Michael Jordan, helped me focus on my goals.
"We all need goals to aim for and my motto is still 'The more you practise, the luckier you get'."
In fourth place, after David Beckham, is boxing champion Lennox Lewis and then comedian and star of The Office, Ricky Gervais.
Actor and former footballer Vinnie Jones was placed at sixth, followed by TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson, Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, former Olympic rower Sir Steven Redgrave, and actor David Jason.