Beckham is a soccer player.
As one of the most famous people in the world, Beckham needs scant introduction.
Beckham is the linchpin of England's current side and remained vital to Manchester United until he was sold to Real Madrid in July 2003.
Beckham signed for United as a trainee on July 8, 1991 and was part of United's famous 1992 Youth Cup winning side.
He actually made his League debut while on loan at Preston North End in February 1995, before making his United bow at home to Leeds in April.
He fully established himself the next year in United's 1995/96 Double winning season as a right-sided midfielder after the departure of Andrei Kanchelskis.
A goal from the half-way line in the first game of the 1996/97 season at Wimbledon brought him to star status, which has grown inexorably since. Indeed, it seems that every last bowel movement by Beckham and his wife Victoria, aka 'Posh Spice', make the tabloid press.
Following the wonder goal at Wimbledon he went on a run of amazing performances, scoring a fantastic selection of long-range goals to help United win the Premiership and himself the Young Player of the Year award. He also came second in the Player of the Year voting.
He was included in Glenn Hoddle's squad for France 98. And after being left out of the starting line-up for the first two matches, he then scored a beautiful free-kick against Colombia.
Beckham then made himself a national pariah through being sent-off for aiming a kick at Argentina's Diego Simeone. This led to brainless fans lambasting his every move and terrible abuse of him, his wife and son Brooklyn, who was born in March 1999.
He was an integral part of the Treble winning team and his efforts won him second place behind Rivaldo in the voting for both World and European Player of the Year.
After a high-profile bust-up with Sir Alex Ferguson before the vital 1999/2000 clash with Leeds United in February he looked set to leave Old Trafford, but ignored the speculation to pledge his future to United and play a key role in United's successful and record-breaking defence of the Premiership title.
The biggest name in English football, Beckham's main attributes are shooting, in open play and especially from free-kicks, a superb range of passing, vision, composure and a dogged determination which will always threaten to spill over.
Through these facets he has developed into English football's greatest player since the early years of Paul Gascoigne.
It was therefore fitting that Peter Taylor named him as England captain in a friendly against Italy in November 2000. With former captain Alan Shearer retired from international football and defensive linchpin Tony Adams announcing his retirement Beckham took over the mantle.
In his first game as manager Sven Goran Eriksson named Becks as captain of the England team that beat Spain 3-0 at Villa Park in February 2001.
Becks retained the captaincy for the World Cup qualifier against Finland at Anfield in March. He scored England's winning goal - his first international goal from open play - as they triumphed 2-1.
His 2000/01 season at Manchester United was a curate's egg however as he started at his best and banged in the goals that his manager demanded of him.
But after Christmas he found it hard to replicate that form and though he did well for England, his club form dipped as United crashed out of the Champions League in Munich, a game he missed through suspension.
The following season saw him hit heights for both club and country though there were lows too. After a dazzling personal display against Greece for England and some special goals for United, with a strike away at Deportivo La Coruna a particular highlight, he spent some games on the bench as Sir Alex Ferguson rested him.
A revival in form brought by that rest was halted by an infamous injury in the return leg against Deportivo.
He introduced the word 'metatarsal' to the world after a crunching foul from Argentinian Aldo Duscher yet made a return to England's World Cup squad in Japan. Sadly his lack of fitness hampered much of his play but he was still able to gain revenge when he slotted home the winning penalty against Argentina.
His second son, Romeo, was born in September 2002.
The 2002/03 season saw Beckham chip in with six goals and nine assists as United sneaked another Championship from under the noses of Arsenal and the midfielder went on the win the Fans' Player of the Year Award.
He had his seasonal run-in with the manager and helpfully swept his ever changing hair back for the press to see a gash above his eye after Fergie had kicked a football boot at his head during a dressing room rant.
Becks was linked with a £35million pound move to Real Madrid towards the end of the campaign and duly came of the bench to score a brace as United beat Real 4-3 in a Champions League quarter-final at Old Trafford - only to go out on away goals - to prove a point to his manager.
The England skipper was also making a point at international level and scored in all of England's first four Euro 2004 qualifiers before getting booked in a passionate game against Turkey and subsequently missing out on June's clash with Slovakia.
At the end of the season the press was full of speculation over the future of Beckham, with both Milan clubs, Roma, Real Madrid and Barcelona all making their interest known.
Barca were the first team to have a bid accepted, but in truth only one team was ever going to win the race for the star midfielder. In mid-June 2003 it was announced that Beckham had agreed to sign a four-year deal with Spanish champions Real.
United received an initial £17.25million for the player, a fee which will rise to £25million depending on Real's participation and progress in the Champions League over the length of his contract.
Although United may have lost the England captain and without doubt a gifted player, they felt the time was right to cash in on a player with the media profile of a pop star.
He scored 86 goals in 397 games for United.