David Beckham broke into Manchester United's first team in the 1995/96 season, winning the league title as a 21-year-old after pundit Alan Hansen's infamous early-season jibe: "You'll never win anything with kids."
He soon became a star off the pitch, especially after his engagement to Victoria Adams (aka Posh Spice) in 1998. They married in 1999.
The first of Beckham's 17 England goals was a stunning trademark free-kick in a 1998 World Cup group match against Colombia.
Days later, Beckham was labelled England's pariah after he was sent off for kicking out at Argentina's Diego Simeone. England lost the match on penalties.
Beckham began the 1998/99 season being berated by the media and opposing fans, but he ended it a treble winner as Man Utd became the first club to win the league, FA Cup and European Cup in the same season.
Beckham scored a spectacular last-minute goal against Greece to seal England's World Cup qualification in 2001, helping him win the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award:
Beckham's England redemption was complete when he scored a scored a decisive penalty against Argentina in the 2002 World Cup, but the side lost out to Brazil in the quarter-finals.
The midfielder's relationship with Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson appeared to sour in 2003, when Beckham sported a gash above his eye that was reportedly caused by a flying football boot apparently kicked by an angry Ferguson.
Beckham left United, the club he had joined as a 14-year-old, when Ferguson sold him to Spanish giants Real Madrid for £24.5 million in 2003.
Beckham captained England 58 times, but he stood down as skipper after more World Cup disappointment when the side lost to Portugal on penalties in 2006.
Becks' status as an off-the-field A-List celebrity was cemented when he left Madrid to move to Los Angeles Galaxy, with the Beckhams befriending the likes of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
Beckham's international career continued to flourish, helped by two loans stints with Italian club AC Milan, and he made history in 2009 by becoming England's most capped outfield player. In total he played 115 times for his country.
The final chapter in Beckham's footballing career was a move to French side Paris Saint-Germain, where he won the league title and became the first English player to win championships in four different countries.