David Beckham Launches Unicef 7 Fund To Help Children In Danger

09/02/2015 14:22 | Updated 20 May 2015

David Beckham launches Unicef 7 fund to help children in danger

David Beckham has announced his mission to help endangered children across the world – and he wants his own kids to join him.

The dad-of-four said that now he's retired from football he wants to devote his time to helping children who aren't so lucky.

In a moving speech to mark the 10th anniversary of his time as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, the 39-year-old superstar launched a new fund to help more children under threat.

And he said he hoped his own kids would be proud of him – and would be inspired to follow in his footsteps.

David – dad to Brooklyn, 15, Romeo, 12, Cruz, 9, and three-year-old Harper - said: "It's about putting a smile on a child's face, or helping in any other way you can."

He said he hopes his children will help with the new initiative from the start, and added: "I am a father, I am a husband, I have four amazing kids who are thankfully healthy."

David Beckham launches Unicef 7 fund to help children in danger

He went on: "My children understand all of my work, especially Brooklyn, who has seen me work in several different countries.

"I always wanted to have children that could actually live through my career with me, it's not just living through my career with me, it's living through my life with me.

"I might be retired but over the last 10 years my children have seen, especially Brooklyn and Romeo as Cruz is still nine, have seen me go on certain trips."

But he made clear: "This was something I wanted to do even before I had children."

David added: "I'm proud to tell them what I'm doing and I think it makes them proud."

The star described how he would go home and show his family photos of the children he had helped, admitting visuals helped to get the message across to them.

The 7 fund will focus on seven separate countries, including El Salvador, Papua New Guinea, Djibouti and Bangladesh - and target malnutrition, HIV and AIDS, poor sanitation and health.

It is hoped 2015 will be the year major decisions are made by international leaders to help children worldwide - and David is planning series of fundraising events to help boost the cause.

David said: "Today the need to help children has never been greater and since retiring I have more time and I want to do so much more.

"That's why I'm setting up this new fund with UNICEF: 7 represents my ongoing commitment to helping children who need it around the world.

"This is me stepping up my support - because I can, because I want to, because the outcome will help change the lives of millions of children.

"Everything I have done, my football career, my family, has led to this point."

He added: "This is something I want my own children to be proud of."

David – who attended the BAFTAS on Sunday night – described a visit he made to the Philippines, just months after the devastating typhoon.

He said: "Everything was so fresh, everyone was still devastated."

Once there, he met a father who was stood at a grave, and he told David he had lost his family members in the disaster.

He also met a little girl called Venus, whose sister was killed. Describing the terrible event, David said the family had reached their roof - not expecting it to be as bad as it was - and when the mother asked her husband if he could hold their little girl, he agreed - only discovering he had lost her when he woke up, after being knocked unconscious.

He later sat down with son Brooklyn, and told him about the family, describing the pain he himself felt 'to be sat down by two parents and told about that'.

Becks chose the number seven because it meant so much to him, having worn it throughout his footballing career - and even giving his daughter it as a middle name.

He credits his successful football career for opening doors like this, and added: "The hard work I have done throughout my career has led me to this point."