In the opening moments of Netflix’s four-part documentary, Beckham, the former England footballer is shown collecting honey – or “DBee’z Sticky Stuff” as Posh Becks apparently likes to call it – from his hive of bees.
The scene sets the tone for an intimate docuseries that sees director Fisher Stevens (who fans may recognise for his role as Hugo in Succession) take the camera inside Beckham’s family home, interviewing everyone from his parents and wife Victoria to former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and player Gary Neville, and even a former paparazzi duo who would try to take pictures of the Beckhams’ children.
Here are some of the key revelations from the series…
Victoria told David she was pregnant with Brooklyn the night before the 1998 Argentina match
In the series, Victoria reveals that she dropped the news of her pregnancy to David the night before his infamous red card moment in 1998.
The evening before the England team played against Argentina at the World Cup that year, Victoria called David and told him she was pregnant with their eldest son, Brooklyn.
She made the call while she was in Brooklyn, New York – hence the name choice.
Speaking to the camera, she says: “I told David the night before the game. He was so, so happy, we both were and there was never any doubt in my mind that I should tell him. I mean, it was what we wanted and he could not have been happier.”
David and Victoria in the early days of their relationship— (Netflix)
Director Stevens asks her: “So you tell him right before the biggest game of his life – did you think it would help him?”
Victoria then replies: “I don’t really know.”
During the game the next day, David received a red card for kicking out at Argentina player Diego Simeone. England went on to lose on penalties and crash out of the World Cup tournament.
David suffered from depression after the loss
Victoria says in the documentary that David, just 23 at the time, was left clinically depressed by the hate he received after being sent off in the 1998 Argentina match.
She says: “I mean, the absolute hate, the public bullying, to another level. He was depressed, absolutely clinically depressed. I still want to kill these people.”
David adds: “What I went through was so extreme. The whole country hated me. Hated me. It changed my life. I felt very vulnerable and alone. Wherever I went I got abuse every single day.
David Beckham in the 1990s— (Netflix)
“People look at you in a certain way, spit at you, abuse you, come up to your face and say some of the things that they said. That was difficult.”
The tabloids raged at the young footballer, calling him “stupid”. For months after the match, David was booed in stadiums across the country and spat at in the street. At the lowest point, an effigy of him was hung outside a south London pub.
Former England manager Glenn Hoddle has not been forgiven
Both Victoria and David’s mother, Sandra, suggest that former England manager Hoddle had fuelled the national anger towards David after the Argentina match. Hoddle publicly blamed Beckham for the defeat.
In the documentary, Victoria says: “Glenn Hoddle didn’t come out and try and protect David. And how old was David, 23? You’re a kid at 23. And Glenn Hoddle was a man.
Glenn Hoddle— (PA Archive)
“Well, I wouldn’t even call him a man actually… he was an older person.”
Sandra adds: “Hoddle is on my hit-list… of people that upset me. I thought, ‘What have you done?’ He made it that it was David’s fault. And we’d been used to a manager… Alex Ferguson never spoke about his team.”
David and Victoria speak about allegations that he had an affair
Elsewhere in the documentary, the couple discuss the reports about David’s alleged affair with Rebecca Loos, his former personal assistant.
Loos became David’s PA when he transferred to Real Madrid in July 2003. She was sacked a few months later and subsequently gave an interview to News of the World in April 2004, alleging that she and Beckham had conducted a four-month affair while he was married to Victoria.
The claims were never corroborated and were dismissed by David at the time as “ludicrous”.
Rebecca Loos in 2008— (Getty Images)
In the new series, Stevens asks David: “Multiple tabloid stories broke. And how did you deal with that?”
In response, David does not directly address the allegations but says: “Erm… there were some horrible stories that were difficult to, erm, deal with. It was the first time that me and Victoria had been put under that kind of pressure in our marriage.”
He also opens up about how relocating to Spain with Real Madrid had been “difficult”, explaining: “I get sold overnight, the next minute I am in a city, I don’t speak the language, more importantly I didn’t have my family.”
The footballer goes on to say that he and Victoria felt that amid all the reports about their relationship, “we were not only losing each other but drowning”.
When Stevens asks how they survived that time period, David – who appears close to tears – replies: “I don’t know. I don’t know how we got through it, in all honesty.
David and Victoria have been married for 24 years— (PA)
“Victoria’s everything to me. To see her hurt was incredibly difficult. But we’re fighters. And at that time we needed to fight for each other, we needed to fight for our family. And what we had was worth fighting for. But ultimately, it’s our private life.”
He adds: “There were some days I would wake up and think, ‘How am I gonna go to work, how am I gonna walk onto that training pitch, how am I gonna look as though nothing’s wrong?’ I felt physically sick every day when I opened my eyes, ‘How am I gonna do this?’”
Victoria, meanwhile, when asked if it was “the hardest time” in her marriage, says: “A hundred per cent. It was the hardest period for us because it felt like the world was against us.
“And here’s the thing, we were against each other if I’m being completely honest. Up until Madrid, sometimes it felt like us against everybody else but we were together, we were connected, we had each other. But when we were in Spain, it didn’t really feel like we had each other either. And that’s sad.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it was. And how it affected me.”
Beckham is out now on Netflix.