Take it from Beckham. This upcoming July, soccer superstar David Beckham will celebrate his 20th wedding anniversary with Victoria Beckham. While the last two decades have been action-packed with babies (four to be exact!) and massive global success in their respective careers, the athlete still fondly recalls the beginning stages of his relationship with the former Spice Girl.
In a new, no-holds-barred interview with BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Beckham revealed the very first time he spotted Victoria. The former pop idol, now 42, was on television wearing a black catsuit—and naturally, her future husband was smitten. The Spice Girls, though, were reveling in their meteoric ascent to fame, while Beckham was on the cusp of becoming one of the world’s greatest athletes.
Despite the disparity in fame, the girl group’s creator, Simon Fuller, saw potential in Beckham, and orchestrated a casual meet-and-greet between the pair inside Manchester United’s player’s lounge. That first, in-person encounter was—according to the soccer star—“without a doubt” love at first sight.
“She was obviously there for a reason, and I was hoping that I was that reason, and apparently I was,” he shared on Sunday, January 29. “She had a couple glasses of white wine, and I saw my opportunity while she was slightly tipsy. I spoke to her for 25 minutes and I got her number. So it worked.”
Indeed, it did. The couple dated for two years before exchanging vows in July 1999, inside a castle in Ireland. “1999 was a special year,” Beckham reflected in the same interview. “As a Manchester United player I won the Treble, I got married to Victoria, and then we had our first son Brooklyn.”
The famous pair memorably wore matching purple ensembles by Antonio Berardi during the wedding reception, which Beckham said wasn’t the most flattering decision—historically speaking. “Victoria’s was nice,” he noted. “I looked like one of the guys out of Dumb and Dumber when they went to that party. I even had a top hat. Unbelievable. What was I thinking? … It was the thing to do around that time.”
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The couple, now married for nearly two decades, share four beautiful kids—Brooklyn, 17, Romeo, 14, Cruz, 11, and Harper, 5–and the soccer star has somewhat of a grasp on what makes his marriage work.
“We’ve got strong parents,” he expressed. “We were brought up with the right values. Of course, you make mistakes over the years. We all know marriage is difficult at times, and it’s about working through it. Whenever we’ve come up against tough times, we know each other better than anybody knows us. We have an amazing life which we are very respectful of. We are also private people.”
While marriage is hard, the Beckhams reaffirmed their commitment to each other in another formal ceremony. “We have renewed our vows since [the wedding],” he recalled. “It was a lot more private with only six people there in our house.”