David Beckham needs no introduction.
Throughout his decades in the spotlight, he’s become a household name not only in his native United Kingdom but across the globe.
Sports fans and pop culture fanatics alike can spew out numerous facts about the former professional soccer player, such as:
- At just 18, he began playing professionally for one of the Premier League’s top teams.
- In addition to Manchester United, he’s also played for England’s World Cup team as well as Real Madrid and the L.A. Galaxy
- The 2002 film “Bend It Like Beckham,” starring an 18-year-old Kiera Knightly, solidified his celebrity status.
- He’s married to the singer-turned-fashion-designer, Victoria Beckham — otherwise known as Posh Spice.
- His four good-looking kids — who are now famous in their own right — are named Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz, and Harper.
- He ended his 21-year pro career in 2013.
- In 2019, he bought the MLS team Inter Miami FC and helped launch their first season.
However, not as much is known about Beckham off the field (or the red carpet, for that matter).
Over the years, fans have speculated about the soccer star’s home life, including his religious beliefs. One of the predominant questions has been “Is David Beckham a Christian?”
Let’s dive in and find out.
David Beckham’s Upbringing
Before he was David Beckham, the acclaimed footballer worth around $450 million, he was just David Robert Joseph Beckham, the second-born child and first son of a hairdresser and kitchen fitter.
Beckham’s middle name took after his father’s favorite footballer, Bobby Charlton, making soccer a key part of his identity from birth. However, the sport quickly became a dream of his own.
In an interview for W Magazine, Beckham said:
“At school whenever the teachers asked, ‘What do you want to do when you’re older?’ I’d say, ‘I want to be a footballer.’ And they’d say, ‘No, what do you really want to do, for a job?’ But that was the only thing I ever wanted to do.”
At just 14, he left home to enroll in Manchester United’s training academy and ended up signing with the pro team a few short years later.
Suffice it to say, he made his dream a reality.
David Beckham’s Jewish Roots
David Beckham’s maternal grandfather, Joseph West, was Jewish, and the soccer star has always identified in some way with those roots.
Speaking to broadcaster Kirsty Young, he said:
“So yes, I do consider myself… I was never brought up Jewish, but like I said, my grandfather was, and every time we went to synagogue I was a part of that.”
Back when he hopped across the pond to play for L.A. Galaxy, he expounded upon his connection to the religion for a piece in The Guardian:
“I’ve always been honored when people have made me feel special all around the world. I get that from the gay community around the world, from the black community, and the Jewish community because I’m half Jewish. I’m really honored when people say different things about me. If I can have that effect in America, then great.”
Moreover, in his autobiography, he wrote: “I’ve probably had more contact with Judaism than with any other religion” (via The Jewish Chronicle).
Brooklyn Beckham’s Jewish Nuptials
Beckham’s most recent public brush with Judaism came when his eldest wed heiress Nicola Peltz in 2022. At the high-profile and controversial event, the former pro reportedly recited a Hebrew blessing.
Before the nuptials, the Jewish Chronicle deemed the event “the simchah of the year,” writing:
“Though the wedding would not pass a rabbi’s muster, it is set to feature all the halachic trappings, including a chuppah, glass-breaking, a yarmulke for the groom and even the signing of a ketubah.”
However, Judaism isn’t the only religion Beckham has a connection to.
David Beckham’s Connections to Christianity
Although Beckham has ancestral roots in Judaism, it appears he was raised in a Christian household.
In his book “Both Feet on the Ground,” he said that he went to church with his family every week — the reason, however, was that attendance was required in order to play for the church soccer team.
“So all the family — me, Mum, and Dad and my sisters — made sure we were there every time, without fail,” he wrote.
His Permanent Tribute to Jesus
Though David Beckham hasn’t said much else about his Christianity connections — at least not publicly — the ink on his skin speaks volumes.
In 2012, Beckham debuted a Jesus tattoo. According to the Toronto Star, the body art was based on a picture by the Catholic artist Matthew R. Brooks, which is entitled “The Man of Sorrows,” referring to an Old Testament text.
In NIV, the verse reads:
“He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”
The Beckhams’ Baptisms
Several years ago, David and Victoria celebrated their two youngest children by performing a Christian baptism.
According to Premier Christian News, the sacrament took place in at Holy Trinity Church in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, and celebrities Eva Longaria and Marc Anthony took on the roles of godparents.
Victoria took to Instagram afterward to say “Proudest of days today watching Harper and Cruz being baptised in front of our friends and family. So much to be grateful for,” while David told his followers it was a “perfect and beautiful occasion.”
Although David Beckham has kept relatively mum about the precise religious tradition he follows, it’s safe to say that he considers himself a part of the Judeo-Christian traditions.