David Beckham’s many tattoos – Harper nickname, Jay Z quote and ancient proverb

David Beckham has a lot of tattoos.

The 47-year-old football icon has more than 60 inkings on his body, including tributes to his four children Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper, as well as his wife Victoria.

As David said himself in a 2016 commercial for French skincare brand Biotherm Homme: "The story of my life is written on my skin."

Many of David's tattoos were designed and inked by famous LA based tattoo artist, Mark Mahoney.

Speaking of his many sessions with the famous footballer, Mark previously told the Times: "I swear David is superhuman. He doesn’t feel pain and he has a higher level of concentration."

In celebration of his birthday, Daily Star has taken a deep dive into the global superstar's most famous tattoos.

Back – Crucifix with wings and sons' names

Probably the most iconic David Beckham tattoo is the portrait of a man on a crucifix with angel wings across his back.

The tattoo covers the top of David's shoulder blades, stopping just short of his neck and is supposed to symbolise the football star's role as the protector of his children.

As such, the tattoo is surrounded by further inkings listing his children's names.

On his lower back, David has his first-born son Brooklyn's name inked.

His second-born Romeo's name is positioned just above the angel crucifix tattoo, while his youngest son Cruz's name is tattooed across the centre of his back.

In July 2011, David and his wife Victoria welcomed their fourth child and first daughter Harper and David added to his collection.

Neck – 'Harper'/'Pretty Lady'

Harper Seven Beckham was born in July 2011.

In honour of her birth, David had her name tattooed on the underside of his neck.

To celebrate Harper's fourth birthday in July 2015, David added to the inking by getting his affectionate nickname for Harper "Pretty Lady" inked just above his original tattoo tribute.

Explaining the inking on Instagram, David wrote: "Hey Pretty Lady… Just adding to the collection of tattoos that mean so much to me."

Hand – 'Victoria'

David married his wife Victoria in Ireland in 1999.

The couple have been going strong ever since and David's devotion to his Spice Girl spouse is clear.

Victoria's name is inked on his right hand, alongside an image of a hummingbird.

He also has "99" inked on the pinkie finger of the same hand.

It's thought to be yet another tribute to his wife and symbolise a highly significant year in his life, as the couple also welcomed their son Brooklyn the same year.

Hand – 'Dream big, be unrealistic'

Underneath his Victoria tattoo, David had the phrase "Dream big, be unrealistic" inked on his hand in 2014.

This quote was often said by Jay Z during his and wife Beyonce's On The Run tour and is thought to have inspired Becks' tattoo.

The inking appears to be yet another tribute to David's wife Victoria also, as the fashion designer seemed particularly taken with the quote after first hearing it.

In a tweet at the time, Victoria wrote: "'Dream big, be unrealistic'- Jay Z at the Rose Bowl last night, Beyonce and Jay Z #ontheruntour, AMAZING!!!!"

Ankle – Cherubs

David has a number of cherub inkings.

In 2011, the football star had a tattoo of Jesus carried by three cherubs inked just above his left pec.

He added to the collection in March 2016 by getting a tattoo of two running cherubs on his ankle.

Alongside a snap of the intricate inking, David wrote on Instagram: "Great new piece from Mark Mahoney at shamrock…. Always nice to sit and listen to Mark's conversation for five hours whilst watching him work… True artist."

Ribs – Ancient Chinese proverb

During a visit to Peking University in Beijing in 2013, David showed off his Chinese language inking.

The tattoo spans down David's left side, from his armpit to the top of his hip, and the phrase is actually an ancient Chinese proverb.

Translated, the inking reads: "Death and life have determined appointments. Riches and honour depend upon heaven."

That's pretty deep.


David has a number of inkings on his arms and together, they make up two full sleeves worth of tattoos.

On his right shoulder, the Essex native has an angel inking with the quote "in the face of adversity" tattooed around it.

The retired footballer also has a tattoo of his wife Victoria and her name in Sanskrit on his forearm, as well as the phrase "Perfectio in spiritu" in his right hand sleeve – which means "perfection in spirit".

On his left arm, David has a Renassiance painting which is believed to depict Cupid flying his wife into heaven.

He also has a number of plant tattoos and the Latin expression "Ut Amem Et Foveam" tattooed on the same arm, which translates in English as "to love and to cherish".

David's sons continue to uphold the family tattoo legacy with their own inkings and as their dad turns 47, it's possible he's not done yet.

Happy birthday, David!

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