Food A Guide to David Beckham's 60 Plus Tattoos
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Former footballer and current baller David Beckham has at least 67 identifiable tattoos, though given the intricacies of his sleeve artwork as well as recent additions to his legs, the number is probably closer to 80. The difference, however, between Beckham and others in or approaching the octogen-tattoo club (, , and, probably some day, ) is that Beckham’s tats are consistent. Though he has added sleeve sections surrounding and covering previous work, Beckham's art remains uniform—he inks using consistent style and iconography choices, including religious and renaissance artwork as well as cursive lettering.
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Beckham also keeps his face and stomach fairly clean. His tattoos are balanced, with both sleeves running up and over both pecs, both ribs covered top to bottom in vertical artwork, and the abdomen left as mostly negative space. The tattoo on his back also follows the natural lines of his shoulders and spine, which gives the images strong movement. In short, even though Beckham is covered, he looks good. The tattoos work.
There is also a consistent hand behind the art, which no doubt helps. Beckham’s primary tattoo artist is London’s Mark Mahoney, who has tattooed a number of celebrities, including Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie., Mahoney summarized the benefits of having Beckham as a canvas:“He picks good stuff, he’s got great skin, he feels absolutely no pain.”
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And what a canvas Mahoney has covered. Here’s a look at every identifiable David Beckham tattoo, and what many of them mean.
David Beckham’s neck and head tattoos
On the left side of Beckham’s neck, he wears two tattoos for his daughter: the name“Harper” in cursive below the words“Pretty Lady.” Above the latter, Beckham then later tattooed a rose near the words“I love you,” which wraps around to the back of his neck. Flying above the rose toward Beckham’s left ear is a flock of birds. On Beckham’s tragus (that little fold by the ear canal), Beckham has a tiny rose. On the ear itself, he has a black heart. The birds also fly up to the left side of his head, where he has a model of the solar system—often hidden in his hair. On the back of his neck is a gothic-style crucifix with wings just above the name for his son,“Romeo.”
Moving to Beckham’s front, he has another rose on his throat next to the words“dadda do it,” the subject and verb of which is split by a black horse, reportedly representing his wife, Victoria. There’s also a written tattoo across his collarbone, though the words are hard to make out. On his right in the same position as the“Harper," Beckham wears a tattoo for his son Brooklyn. The tattoo, also in cursive, reads“Buster,” Brooklyn’s nickname.
A Guide to David Beckham's 60 Plus Tattoos
This is body art done right.
Beckham’s back tattoos
On his back, Beckham wears a large angel in a crucified position and hung between“Romeo” on his neck and“Cruz” midway down his spine. On his lower back is the name“Brooklyn.” These three name tattoos represent Beckham’s sons.
David Beckham’s chest tattoos
Let’s start on the left. On Beckham’s left beck he wears religious iconography: an intricate tattoo of three cherubs lifting Jesus from his tomb.the tattoo is“Jesus being carried by three cherubs and obviously the cherubs are boys. My thought of it is, at some point my boys [Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz] are going to need to look after me and that’s what they’re doing in the picture.” On the opposite side is another intricate image—a lady in a forest—though the meaning here is more cryptic. Both pieces are joined at the sternum by a minimalist cross.
Under Beckham’s right armpit is a ship, a matching tattoo he. Moving down to Beckham’s right oblique, we find biblical images: a haloed Christ seated on the cross ( in honor of his grandfather) just below an apparent bible passage. Below his left armpit in a similar position as the ship, Beckham has an eagle in flight and the head of a first nation’s chief. On his left ribcage, Beckham wears several tattoos, including the date 1975 (his birth year),“We Love You Daddy,” and“Mum & Dad.” These words are joined perpendicularly by a passage from Confucius’ The Analects (生死有命,富貴由天), which runs down to his left hip and means, roughly,“life and death have determined appointments; riches and honor depend upon heaven.”
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David Beckham’s right arm tattoos
Beckham has two complete sleeves on each arm. His right begins at the shoulder with an angel and the words,“In the Face of Adversity,”the fallout of his 2004 affair. Underneath, on the bicep, Beckham has more cherub tattoos, also representing his sons. The sleeve continues down his right forearm with an intricate artwork of clouds. Amidst the clouds are another angel, the Roman phrase“Let Them Hate As Long as Long As They Fear,” and the words“Pray For Me,” the final one inked around the time he moved from Manchester United to the LA Galaxy.
Amidst the clouds on the inside of his forearm, he has the Latin words“Perfectio In Spiritu” below the roman numeral“VII” for Beckham’s jersey number. By the wrist is another roman numeral,“VIII.V.MMVI” (May 8, 2006) a date he shares with his wife. The tattoo is accompanied by the Latin words“De Integro”—something like“anew” or“fresh” or“start over again.”
David Beckham’s right hand tattoos
Beckham’s hand is also fairly covered. He wears“Victoria” in cursive across the hand beside a hummingbird and above the words“Dream Big Be Unrealistic,” inspired by Jay-Z lyrics. Beneath these words are the words “My Love.” Below the hummingbird is the number“32,” Beckham’s jersey number when he played for Milan. On his fingers, he has the number“7,” another jersey number, a rose, and the number“99” for 1999 when he married Victoria.
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On his right palm, he has a stick figure drawing by his daughter Harper with a heart.
David Beckham’s left arm tattoos
Beckham’s left sleeve is split into two parts. The first covers the shoulder and depicts a Renaissance painting of Cupid flying his wife Psyche into the heavens.
At the elbow, there are ten ringed roses, which begin the second major part of the sleeve. This section mostly contains dark coloring with light stars, and includes several other tattoos therein, the largest being an image of Victoria herself. Around her are plants as well as the Latin phrase“Ut Amem Et Foveam” (“to love and cherish”), Hebrew words meaning“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,” and another rose. On his forearm, amid the stars, Beckham has Victoria’s name written in large Sanskrit lettering, as well as the phrase“Forever By Your Side”
David Beckham’s left hand tattoos
On Beckham’s hand are the word“Love,” the words“Lead with Love,” and two swallows. By his right thumb is the number“723,” representing his football jersey numbers. On his index finger is the word“seven” and on his pinky finger is the number“7”—seven also a related to his daughter. On his ring finger he has a rose.
David Beckham’s leg tattoos
On his right ankle, Beckham has a pair of running cherubs. On his left leg, he recently showed off a lion’s face on his quad and some kind of bird on his left calf. In general, Beckham’s leg tattoos are less documented. We’ll update the situation as soon as more information emerges.
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