David Beckham’s Jewish grandfather Joseph West has died aged 83.
Beckham, who is currently in South Africa promoting England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup, was informed of the news by family members as he got off the plane.
Mr West, the father of Beckham’s mother Sandra, was described by Beckham as his “footballing inspiration” and the two were extremely close.
When Beckham received his OBE at Buckingham Palace in 2003, Joe and Sandra accompanied him to meet the Queen.
Mr West had been seriously ill for some time, and Beckham flew from LA to visit his grandfather after he was hospitalised in August this year.
In his first autobiography My World, Beckham talked about how his grandfather’s Judaism had influenced him, saying: "I've probably had more contact with Judaism than with any other religion."
"I used to wear the traditional Jewish skullcaps when I was younger, and I also went along to some Jewish weddings with my grandfather."