Raye has many body mods, SFSI training, former CFR-D creds, and a decade-long stint as BellaOnline's body art editor under her belt.
David Beckham's Body Art
Soccer star David Beckham is known as much for his fashion sense and tattoos as he is for his abilities on the playing field. After his start with Manchester United in the UK, Beckham then went to play for Real Madrid before signing a contract to play in the US for Major League Soccer's LA Galaxy team. After a "timeshare" deal which had him splitting his time between the LA Galaxy and AC Milan in Italy, Beckham is now retired from playing soccer. One of his new ventures is a restaurant in London.
However, no matter what this sports star does, the talk always comes back to his tattoos. With rare exception, in US sports, the big endorsements and outside deals tend not to go to the guy with the largest tattoo collection, but with Beckham, it's almost like the opposite has happened. He's even had some friction with his tattoo artist over his body art being made the feature of some ad campaigns.
The majority of Beckham’s tattoos have been done by Manchester tattooist Louis Malloy, one of the most prominent in the UK. Malloy has said he talks no more or less with his famous client about his art as he does any other customer, preferring to discuss the technical details of the design, allowing the client to keep their own motivations for the design private. Aside from the time that Beckham paid for the tattoo artist’s airfare to Madrid, Spain to do the winged cross on his neck, Malloy has said he charges the same to David as he would any other customer.
David and His Tattoos
David Beckham's Back and Chest Tattoos
Beckham has kept his ink on the upper half of his body, adding to his back, ribs, and chest over the years. So far the collection includes:
- Brooklyn: The name of his first-born son runs across his lower back.
- Romeo: The name of his second son sits just below the base of his neck.
- Cruz: The name of his third son is placed just below the winged figure.
- Guardian Angel: This is how Beckham has described the figure with arms outstretched that sits between his shoulder blades. This tattoo was later expanded to include larger wings.
- Winged Cross: Beckham was in the midst of the 2004 UEFA Championships when he had his UK tattooist, Louis Malloy, flown in to do this piece on the back of his neck. The British fans' reactions were a bit mixed, with some saying this tattoo and his shaved head made Beckham look like a hooligan.
- Chinese Characters: This one was revealed March '08, coming close on the heels of the full left forearm he had done in early 2008. Sources say the tattoo seen running down the left side of his torso on his ribs is Mandarin Chinese and reads 'Death and life have determined appointments, Riches, and honors depends upon heaven.’ The work was done in Hong Kong as the LA Galaxy did some pre-season appearances.
- Jesus on the way to the cross: Revealed in January 2010, this piece on Beck's lower right ribs is inspired by the painting "The Man Of Sorrows" by Matthew R. Brooks. It was spotted when Beckham took off his shirt following a soccer match.
- Jesus and cherubs: The latest piece of ink (debuted early 2011) was something David got in LA from artist Mark Mahoney. The portrait of Jesus is styled to look like Beckham himself (sans ink) and shows him being lifted from his tomb by three cherubs which are representations of the three Beckham boys.
- Harper: You didn't think David wouldn't get a tattoo in honor of his new baby girl, did you? When the little lady learns to read, she'll be able to read her name tattooed at the base of her Daddy's throat just over his heart.
David's Left Arm Tattoos
The Left Arm
David Beckham's left arm has a lot of designs that seem to focus on his wife and his personal life. Wife Victoria, also known as former Spice Girl "Posh Spice," was commemorated with the rendition of her name in Hindi script. Interestingly, some have claimed that this tattoo has a misspelling in it, noted as the inclusion of an "h."
Below that tattoo is a phrase in Latin. "Ut Amem Et Foveam" translates as "so that I love and cherish." A Hebrew phrase has also been added above his wife's name. A symbol of indeterminate meaning is on the inside of that wrist as well
In January '08, Becks got a brand-new tattoo of his wife, Victoria. It's a reproduction of a Brigitte Bardot-like pose that was taken for Pop Magazine back in 2004 and it covers the entire outside of his left forearm. A variety of sources report this is David's favorite picture of her. The tattoo has some stars around it, and the phrases "Forever by your side" and "'Til death do us part."
In December 2008, a new cherub was seen on the inside of his left upper arm, which balances against another cherub on the right arm in the same spot. The Hebrew saying "My son, do not forget my teaching but keep my commands in your heart" was also added.
In July 2009, during an appearance on the US Today Show, a ring of 10 roses was seen going around the lower bicep. This piece of ink is said to mark the Beckham's tenth wedding anniversary.
On March 2010, after a game in Rome, Italy, a new piece was visible at the top of his left arm, bringing the growing sleeve almost right up to the top of his shoulder. It's a Renaissance image of Cupid carrying his wife Psyche up to heaven. One small alteration of the 15th-century image was made: a scarf drapes delicately over Psyche, covering her otherwise-bare body.
On October 2011, Victoria herself broke the news on David's latest piece of ink, tweeting an absolutely adorable picture of the word "Love" tattooed on the back of her husband's left hand, while new baby daughter Harper's fingers can be seen clutching one of his. It would seem the word applies to the whole family's feelings in general.
More on Beckham's Tattoos
- David Beckham's Tattoos, Angels, Winged Crosses
British soccer player David Beckham has been collecting tattoos for many years. Slowly individual tattoos are turning into full arm sleeves.
- David Beckham | Facebook
David often includes pictures or videos of his tattoos on his Facebook page.
David's Right Arm and Hand Tattoos
The Right Arm and Forearm
Beckham's right arm contains a variety of designs that seem to speak of his career. There is the Roman numeral VII, as "seven" was his Manchester United number. He's also got the Latin phrase "Perfectio In Spiritu" which translates as "spiritual perfection."
His upper right arm has a large angel on it, and there are cherubs on the inside of his bicep, representing his boys.
In April 2007, Beckham had artist Malloy turn the piecework into a complete tattoo sleeve with the addition of another angel, flames and the phrase "Let them hate as long as they fear." It's interesting how many news agencies have listed the tattoo as being like the designs seen in the TV show "Prison Break" when in fact, the designs are quite different. Also, that TV show did not invent the idea of tattoo sleeves.
After many years, David "finished" his right arm. In September of 2013, he had the back of his right hand tattooed with the name "Victoria." This tattoo was in the same flourished script as the "love" tattoo that is on the back of his left hand.
Do You Think David Beckham Will Eventually Have a Full Tattooed "Shirt?"
Having slowly grown his tattoo collection from a few random pieces to full solid sleeves, David Beckham has been adding most of his new ink to his upper chest and torso. He's still keeping the imagery all black-and-white, so the pieces from over the years all flow together nicely and he's had the artwork done so that it has background fill and isn't just a collection of floating images.
Do you think he'll just keep adding more tattoos until his entire body from the waist up is solidly-covered? Do you think he'll fill in the open spaces on this back? And do you ever think he'll start to get tattoos on his legs? Or will that wait until he's retired from playing soccer?
Share your thoughts in the comment capsule below!
Got Beckham? - comments and feedback
Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on June 20, 2014:
torrilynn on June 20, 2014:
I absolutely love David Beckham! Mostly due to his looks, his accent, and tattoos. thanks for the hub. very informational. voted up.
Robin Milton on September 27, 2013:
Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on April 06, 2013:
Black fineline is a very popular style. Louis Malloy, Beckham's artist, is one of the top tattoo artists in England.
Michelle on April 06, 2013:
OMG I've never seen such crap tattoos, looks like prison tats. You would think someone that famous would have more class and get a decent tattooist. No art...utter junk.
aquaapple on February 09, 2012:
Omg david beckham ur art woeks r mad hot crazy and nice i like all of them because they all have a mean hopefully u will put ur baby girl name right next to ur heart nice pics to
SANKET on December 20, 2011:
Beckham's Vist tattoo is awsm
n really hs lookin hoty & i think so he is god of football
LOUISE on August 26, 2011:
david is soooooooo SEXY
Obscure_Treasures from USA on July 27, 2011:
Awesome hub........Really great.I am a huge fan of David Beck ham and specially his tattoos. I wish i had one.Voted U up
denise Clark on June 22, 2011:
David is my hero, his tattoo's are fab, my son has copied some of them and they look amazing.
Sammy on May 09, 2011:
Looks good dude hope my turn out as good..
safiq ali patel from United States Of America on February 17, 2011:
Relache....Until I read this hub I really had no idea how much thought David had put into his tattoos. Your hub carries some fantastic detail telling me and other readers that his personal life is expressed in tattoos on his left arm and his career is expressed on his right arm. Yes David Beckham's tattoos have been in the media spotlight but never quite with the same detail that you have provided in your hub. Excellent. I enjoyed reading this hub and found out things I really did not know about David Beckham and his tatoos.
jeremysharon on November 07, 2010:
David Beckham and his tatto makes every footballer crazy!
awsmmmmmm tattoos on his body.
I love the one on his back the angle.
Great footballer his goal from the mid was awsmm.
his passion about football and modeling is superb.
Great article and great hub explaining about david beckhams tattos.
He rocked Manchester United,Real Madrid and others but these are superb football cluns and he is the pillor of England Football T eam.
Go david go.
Thanx for this Hub
brave on August 26, 2010:
riminiurlauber on June 16, 2010:
angeli, the public picture of david beckham is very much distracting, believe me!
Robino on May 15, 2010:
OMG Beckham is amazing and hottttt!!!!!!
emily on February 26, 2010:
david beckham is HOTTT
dinkan53 from India on January 17, 2010:
with or with out tatoos, Beckham is still hot
dimas on November 03, 2009:
moe z on September 30, 2009:
he is so smart with his tattoos . I like so much
peter on September 17, 2009:
i only like his sleeve i think his sleeve is well smart and im looking at getting something simular
Amra on September 13, 2009:
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he's soo soo soos soo sooo hoooooottttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!! DAMNN
Akankshi on September 03, 2009:
I just love to see him like that.....
[tele]patty on June 29, 2009:
I like his tattoos...They sooooo dope...!!!
Melissa W on June 02, 2009:
Beckam's tattoo is really cool.
roxy on May 30, 2009:
i just love love love LOVE his tattoos specially the arm full of tattoos ...that's so sexy......i love david beckham even more with his tattoos
Bitch. on March 16, 2009:
To Silent Assassin; I know countless number of people with all-over body tattoos with a good lot of their history inked within. It doesn't "reek of insecurity", they could be memories and of important parts in his life.
I dislike football etc. so I'm not commenting on how much of a brilliant or equally bad footballer he could be. I think people with tattoos which tell a story are intriguing characters and I think it is a good idea to have memories constantly there with you. I think he suits tattoos.
eddy on March 07, 2009:
beckham is the best
shopbright from London on March 01, 2009:
I think his tats look really cool
febriano on February 18, 2009:
BACKHAM COOL ........
MILICA on January 20, 2009:
this is great...I LOWE DAWID BECKHAM...He is ....the best!!!
livelovecoffee from Georgia on December 24, 2008:
hah very nice - I personally don't have any tatoos, but than again I have better things to do that concern myself with someone else finds as right for them (not to be taken negatively). After reading this hub he seems to have a lot of thought put into his tatoo's - those sayings are not something you find everday. Excellent hub! I think i am becoming one of your many followers - keep'em'coming
ajcor from NSW. Australia on September 10, 2008:
Just a random thought - so much self sacrifice and the pushing of personal limits goes into reaching the top of any sport so I wonder if getting all those tattoos is some sort of calorie-free, break-out. I do admire his tenacity and drive.
angeli b. on August 07, 2008:
david beckham is really the kind of man you could ask for, a perfect husband and a responsible father, i hope i could find somebody like him.
Jeniferr from United States on August 04, 2008:
I agree super-hot! Thank you for this hub, I can't look away.
Cailin Gallagher from New England on July 18, 2008:
Beckam is so super-hot I can't stand it. Keep back from the fire. Very cool hub.
Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on June 29, 2008:
Cheryl, why do you care if he's tattooed or not? After all, it's his body, it doesn't interfere with his work and his wife seems to like it...
Cheryl on June 29, 2008:
He is an awesome soccer player but all those tattoos are just distgusting. By the time he's 50 every part of him is going to be covered in them.
Constant Walker from Springfield, Oregon on June 03, 2008:
So many guys, and girls, do this. Work so hard to get this great physique then cover it up with many random tattoos. Tattoos should enhance, not detract from, one's body. Beckham seems to be just getting them done because he can - he's got that hooked-on-ink thing going on.
nixxi on March 22, 2008:
he is hott. victoria is really lucky. But I dont like his completely tatooed arms
one or two would have been enough!
love ya becks xx Lol
Mndeni on February 19, 2008:
Great Lad, Great Father and Great Footballer..
As for the tattoos, well thats up 2 him to decide what he likes, not us
Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on February 11, 2008:
His tattooing hasn't adversely effected his career, and in fact, some of the advertising he's been hired to do has centered on his tattoos. Plus, his wife doesn't seem to mind. So who cares if he's tattooed or not?
mmdz ! on February 11, 2008:
he's my best player soccer ever ! but i think he should stop makin tattoos on his body ! his body is covered by tattoos almost !! and covering his body by more tattoos wouldn't be good i think...he's hondsome and has a sexy body,but he shouldn't do anythin that would affect his appearance ! however,it's an opinion at the end !
Raye (author) from Seattle, WA on February 07, 2008:
Nancy, the left upper arm is still not tattooed, but he's just had the entire left forearm finished off with a portrait of Victoria.
Nancy on January 29, 2008:
Does he have tatoo on upper left arm?
Hector Herrera from Dominican Republic on January 27, 2008:
The Rose Tatoo, Anna Magnani and Burt Lancaster. Hot movie.
imarketing4s on January 18, 2008:
wow thats a lot. sexy. XD
lamia on December 23, 2007:
i only can say tht david is hottt!!!
Joy666 on November 08, 2007:
Beckham is unique, he has it all.
GreatTattoosNow from San Jose on October 24, 2007:
Nice hub love the tattoos of course!
euchrefreak55 from Sault Ste. Marie on October 03, 2007:
He can definately play soccer, but covering your entire body in tattoo's scares me. What are you going to look like when your older?? There can't be that many things that are that special that you would want them on your body forever!
alaw on August 13, 2007:
angles amung us... welcome to the US
Babe on August 06, 2007:
who cares...david is solid! hot hot hot...His tatoo's are sexy like his face
aleish from Las Vegas on July 27, 2007:
He is so hansome! Thanks for making this hub!
Katie on July 23, 2007:
David Beckham is the best soccer player ever and Los Angeles is lucky 2 have him
gretch on July 23, 2007:
hi! to all... BD is the best soccer player ever hehehehe nice tattoo, body most of all God luck in your career
therant on July 18, 2007:
I am a sports star, I need to get 100's of unrealted tattoos on my body. :)
tezzer on July 18, 2007:
omg becks is so fit!!! hes got the best bod and some awsome tattoos hes gorgeous. luvzya x xx x
doogoo on July 17, 2007:
he is best soccer in world. i like watching his match. coog luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ashish on July 05, 2007:
he is a terrific model & a great freekick taker
confessing7girl on June 18, 2007:
wow fantastic hub!! i think u pretty much cover every tattoo he might have!!
that lastest prison break like tattoo i dont really like... but he is still hot anyway!
taylorblue from Canada on June 17, 2007:
he has some awesome tattoos
j.f. on June 13, 2007:
this guy can basically do anything he wants to!
Angela on June 11, 2007:
Beckham is the best ever, and i dont understand why people are saying that he looks like a thug, ask any women, or gay guy, about his body art its sexy just like him :)
His an awesome football player and i cant wait till he comes to usa and i will see him :)
luv ya becks peace be with u at all times =D <3
SuthenMomma on May 20, 2007:
He is a great soccer player!!!