David Beckham is in line for knighthood after his finances are cleared by the taxman.
The former England captain, 46, is believed to have been formally nominated and moved to the list of official recommendations for the following June.
This comes ten years after I joined the tax-avoidance plan. The taxpayer upgraded his status from red – meaning he was withheld from recognition – to green.
It means the Manchester United and Three Lions legend is finally eligible to be head after the long-running tax fiasco.
Last night MPs and charity campaigners praised the move, saying knighthood for one of England’s most successful players – and a prolific charity fundraiser – was “long overdue”.
It comes ten years after Beck was caught in the Ingenious Tax Avoidance Scheme and blacklisted by Inland Revenue.
However, in August the firm won a multimillion-pound appeal against HMRC, and Beckham’s representatives approached tax officials to settle its finances.
A source said: “David, like many celebs associated with Ingenious, had no idea what was going on at the time.
“His team first approached HMRC about two years ago, after David made his business independent, and finally settled it once and for all this year.
“In 2013 the only reason David was told he was overlooked for a knighthood was because of the tax fiasco. Now that it’s clear, there’s no reason for him not to be honored.
“He will obviously be utterly enthralled by the knighthood – but under no illusions and will only believe it when he sees it.”
Anyone with financial irregularities is given a “red warning” by Inland Revenue and barred from honor recognition.
But David, whose heroics for England included a stunning goal against Greece that qualified us for the 2002 World Cup, has now been upgraded from red to green.
The father of four, who has raised nearly £50 million for the charity, is believed to be on the official recommendations list – meaning he has been successfully screened and deserves recognition.
It is now down to the honors committee – headed by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorris – to formally approve her nomination for the Queen’s birthday honors next June. This would mean that his former Spice Girl wife Victoria, 47, becomes Lady Beckham.
However, the star who played a key role in helping London host the 2012 Olympic Games can still be overlooked.
Last night the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore – who raised millions for the NHS in the lap of their garden – praised the move.
The war veteran, who died earlier this year at the age of 100, was honored by Beck, who came home to present him with the FA-backed distinction.
We’re glad that David is finally in line to receive a knighthood – something he totally deserves.
Hannah Ingram-Moore, co-founder of The Captain Tom Foundation
His daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, co-founder of The Captain Tom Foundation, told The Sun: “We are delighted that David is finally in line to receive a knighthood – he totally deserves it.
We will never forget the kindness and support that David and his family have given to my late father and our family.
Last year David also helped The Sun launch its Poppy campaign while visiting Chelsea Pensioners to help boost sales during the pandemic. And he joined Prince William at our Who Care Wins Awards earlier this year.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said last night: “As someone who has been very critical of footballers in the past, I really think it is long overdue for David Beckham.
“He has done well on his tax issues, raised millions for various charities and, of course, was instrumental in our Olympic bid.”
It comes two years after The Sunday Times revealed that David and Victoria were Britain’s two highest-paid taxpayers, earning £12.7 million in 12 months.
However, he faced criticism earlier this year for agreeing to be an ambassador for Qatar ahead of next year’s World Cup. The Middle Eastern country has come down heavily on its horrifying human rights record as well as outlawing homosexuality.
However, he rejected criticism of the £150million, ten-year deal, insisting that he hoped to bring about change “from within” and “use football as a force for good”. .
‘He does more than people realize’
A source close to David’s charity work last night said: “David has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the past 18 years, and has worked tirelessly for them.
“This year he stepped up his global vaccination program, and he raises about £5 million a year to support them, in addition to the women and children projects he funds under the umbrella of his 7th Fund. Over the years he has Possibly raising over £50m for UNICEF and other charities and also quietly giving around a million a year out of his own pocket.
“He does more than people realize – even in lockdown, he was visiting Chelsea pensioners locally by volunteering for Age UK. It’s not just about the money – it’s that. Time is what he gives. And everyone knows what a huge Royalist David is — he’s close to Prince William, and loves the Queen, and has been a huge supporter of William’s mental health campaign.
“He’s not really expecting anything at this stage – but getting an honor now would be beyond anything he could have ever imagined.”
Ant and December, Robbie Williams, Guy Ritchie, Davina McCall and Andrew Lloyd Webber were among 140 celebrities in the Ingenious scheme that gave film investors tax breaks.
The firm — which has always denied tax avoidance — was using “sideways loss relief” to allow investors to offset its potential tax bill against losses incurred in other sectors.
HMRC argued that the scheme was a form of avoidance and sought to recoup some £700million – which Ingenious successfully appealed over the summer.
He’s not really expecting anything at this stage – but getting an honor now would be beyond anything he could ever imagine.
Sources close to David’s charity work
In 2017, David, dubbed the Goldenball, was publicly embarrassed after private emails to his then-advisors were leaked. In them, he reacted angrily to being overlooked for a knighthood in 2013, calling the Honors Committee a “c***s”.
In 2003 Beckham, who played 115 times for England and was captain for six years, was awarded an OBE for services to football.
He received it from the Queen at Buckingham Palace, attended by Victoria, sons Brooklyn and Romeo, and their grandparents.
timeline of football legend and style icon
Beckham enjoyed a football career spanning 20 years which includes the remarkable feat of winning league titles in three countries – England, Spain and France.
Here is a timeline of his remarkable life:
April 1995: Makes his debut for Man Utd vs Leeds.
August 1996: Scored a half-line goal for United against Wimbledon.
March 1999: He has his first child, son Brooklyn, with fiancé Victoria.
May 1999: Triple win with United defeating Bayern Munich in the Champions League final at Camp Nou, Barcelona.
July 1999: Married to Spice Girl Victoria.
November 2000: Named captain of England.
October 2001: Score astonishing goal vs Greece that takes England to the World Cup.
June 2003: Joined Real Madrid’s Galacticos in a transfer of £24.5 million.
March 2005: Opened his first football school, David Beckham Academy.
July 2005: Helps London win its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games
July 2007: Joined Major League Club, LA Galaxy. He has had two loan moves with Italian giants AC Milan while in LA.
January 2013: Paris joined Saint Germain in France.
May 2013: Retired after winning 19 major trophies.