David Beckham: I didn’t get father’s approval until my 100th England cap

David Beckham with his father, Ted

David Beckham with his father, Ted – DIGITAL/EROTEME

David Beckham’s wife Victoria famously calls him “Golden Balls”. His father, it seems, is somewhat harder to please.

The former England captain has revealed that he had to wait over two decades for his father’s approval, only winning a “you’ve made it, boy” after he had earned 100 caps for his country.

Speaking in an interview with James Corden on his podcast series, This Life of Mine, he said his drive and desire in football and business comes from decades of wanting to please Ted, his father.

He said: “My dad never told me I’d done well really until my hundredth cap. That was the first time my dad turned around to me and said, ‘you’ve made it boy’. He said he didn’t get the same recognition at any other point in his career despite six Premier League titles, two FA cups, four Community Shields and a Champions League title.

David Beckham receives his 100th cap against the US in 2008

David Beckham receives his 100th cap against the US in 2008 – Getty Images Europe
He added: “It was the moment that we sat at dinner after I’d won my hundredth cap in Paris and he put his arm around me, and said, ‘you made it, boy.’

Beckham said that he and his two sisters were raised by two hard-working parents in a home with a “lot of love” but said that his father always pushed him to do more at his Sunday league football team. “He very rarely turned around to me and said, ‘well done, boy. You did well today, you played well’”.

David Beckham's story as a global icon was celebrated in a Netflix documentary

David Beckham’s story as a global icon was celebrated in a Netflix documentary – Shaun Botterill/Allsport/Getty Images
Beckham said his father’s attitude hardened him mentally and emotionally for the darkest days in his career.

“Stepping out onto that stadium in front of our fans, whether they loved me or hated me, I loved every minute of every game that I played in,” he added.

He said that he hasn’t been as tough on his own children and admitted that he is “a lot softer” with Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper.

The 48-year-old also revealed that his relationship with wife Victoria has strengthened over the years.

“We actually like each other” and enjoy dinners, even in silence, he said.

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