David Beckham has rubbished claims that he and wife Victoria stay together because of “brand Beckham”.

The former professional footballer was appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs to celebrate the show’s 75th anniversary.

“People have talked about ‘do we stay together because it’s a brand?’ Of course not,” he said.

“We stay together because we love each other. We stay together because we have four amazing children.”

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He told presenter Kirsty Young: “We’re a strong family unit. We’ve got strong parents, we were brought up with the right values.

“Of course you make mistakes over the years. We all know marriage is difficult at times, and it’s about working through it.”

The Beckhams married in 1999 and have four children together.

“Of course you go through tough times, but we’re very respectful of our life, and when we do go through tough times we work through them as a family, as a unit,” he said.

The former England captain revealed that when the couple first got together, they would spend their dates sat in Harvester restaurant car parks in his blue BMW, “and we just used to kiss and spend time together”.

Beckham’s song choices included Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s duet The Girl Is Mine – which he dedicated to his daughter, Harper – and Something About The Way You Look Tonight by Sir Elton John.

“We became friends with Elton, and he was coming to the wedding to perform this song,” he explained.

“We had a phone call that morning to say unfortunately Elton was on the plane and had a heart attack.

“Obviously we were more worried about his health and how he was but we christened the kids a couple of years after that, and he came and performed this song in our house, and it’s a very special song for us.”

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