Football legend David Beckham OBE became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2005, having previously supported UNICEF’s work for children while playing at Manchester United Football Club.
In November 1999 the club began their "United for UNICEF" partnership to raise awareness and funds for UNICEF. David and his teammates took part in campaigns and fundraising activities to establish education and recreational programmes involving football for children around the world.
While on a pre-season tour in Thailand in 2001, David undertook his first visit to a UNICEF-supported centre, meeting children as young as five who were victims of exploitation and trafficking. Following the visit, David helped launch a campaign with Manchester United that focused on ending child exploitation.
On 10 January 2005, the former England captain was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador with a special focus on UNICEF's Sports for Development programme. Within days of his appointment David launched a global fundraising appeal for children affected by the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and travelled to UNICEF’s Supply Division in Copenhagen to see the crucial work being done to help.
During his time as a Goodwill Ambassador, David has travelled extensively to see UNICEF’s work. He has raised awareness and vital funds for urgent – and often hidden – issues affecting children, including malnutrition, emergencies, violence against children and AIDS.
In 2008, to help focus attention on the issue of child survival, David visited Sierra Leone to publicise the high death rate of under-fives and the need to take action. The following year, to mark World Aids Day, David travelled to South Africa to see UNICEF’s work with children and families living with HIV and AIDS.
David has continually spoken out on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable children and, in 2012, he met the UK Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing Street to call for more action to help children affected by malnutrition around the world.
Supporting Unicef's Emergency Work
David’s support for UNICEF’s emergency work has included a visit to the Philippines in 2014, where he met children and families affected by Typhoon Haiyan. He launched UNICEF’s emergency appeal to help the 1.7 million children who were displaced by the disaster. The following year, he recorded a video message backing UNICEF’s fight to beat Ebola and was broadcast across Sierra Leone, one of the worst affected countries, reaching two million people with urgent messages.
Following his retirement from a glittering 20-year career in football, he marked his tenth year as Goodwill Ambassador by launching 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund in February 2015. With the launch of the 7 Fund, David has committed to using his powerful global voice, influence and connections to raise vital funds and encourage world leaders to create lasting positive change for children.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfil their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up.
Want to help 7?
Donations accepted in GBP £, USD $ and Euro. To donate to your local Unicef, visit www.support.unicef.org/7.