David Beckham’s dad engaged 18 years after divorce that rocked family

David Beckham’s dad engaged 18 years after divorce that rocked family

David Beckham’s father Ted has announced his engagement to solicitor Hilary Meredith.

The couple met last year through their charity work for army veterans at Broughton House Veteran Care Village.

A joint statement from the pair, who are currently self-isolating at home in Cheshire, said: “While there are far more important things going on in the world right now, we are thrilled to say that we are happily engaged.

“Stay safe everyone.”

Ted, 71, was previously married to David’s mother Sandra, and they divorced in 2002 after 32 years of marriage.

Ted cited his son’s fame as a catalyst for the breakdown of their marriage, writing in his autobiography: “All the hype, all the stress, all the attention – it wasn’t a world we were used to and it was very tough.

“I don’t think we were really prepared for it – although I’m not sure there’s much you can do to prepare yourself.

“You just get swept along in it and bowled along. But it does wear you down.”

Ted and Sandra married in autumn 1969 and had three children; Lynne, David, and Joanne – and their divorce hit the kids hard.

The marriage hit the rocks as Becks was enduring the turbulent last months of his Manchester United career.

Former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who controversially sold his midfield star to Real Madrid for £25million in 2003, accused him of putting his own agenda ahead of that of the club.

Ted said at the time: “David found that hard to take and he was hardly helped by the fact that Sandra and I were going through the final stages of our divorce.

“David has spoken about how hard our splitting up was for him – it was tough for all our children.

“I know they were all pretty much grown up by the time we got divorced but it was still a heck of a shock for them.

“The last thing I wanted was for them to take sides. The problems lay between Sandra and me, not with any of them.

“We’d been married for 33 years and had simply drifted apart. Just about the only thing we had in common was football.”

His now-fiancee Meredith is a solicitor, lobbyist and campaigner best known for her work on behalf of the UK armed forces, veterans and their families.

She runs law firm Hilary Meredith Solicitors and is also Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs at the University of Chester.

 

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