David Beckham as England captain.
David Beckham as England captain.

NEW YORK, April 26, 2002/  — For the first time in 14 years, British Marie Claire is ditching its cover girl and going for a guy. Instead of its usual girl-on-front look, the June issue of the glossy will feature soccer sensation and Mr. Posh Spice, David Beckham.

British Marie Claire (as well as its American sister edition) is the old stomping ground of Harper’s Bazaar editor Glenda Bailey. Now that Glenda’s gone, though, it seems that Marie Claire might be leaning the way of the lad mags by putting the opposite sex on the cover.

“When it came to putting a man on Marie Claire’s cover for the first time, there was only one candidate: David Beckham,” said Marie O’Riordan, the glossy’s editor. “He represents something for every woman: father, husband, footballer, icon. In a word, he’s the ultimate hero.”

And Becks is thrilled to become the first-ever solo male cover model. “That’s what made me want to do it,” he said, “Because I’m the first man ever to go on the cover. I was like, ‘Wow!’ I was so excited about doing the shoot.”

The footballer’s wife, former Posh Spice Victoria Beckham, hasn’t won a Marie Claire cover since October 2001.

The Brits obviously think that Beckham is bankable. Two months ago Marks & Spencer signed him up to design and promote a line of casual clothing for boys.

British Marie Claire, which is lagging behind Cosmopolitan and Glamour, is hoping the buzz around the upcoming soccer World Cup (starting May 31) will give its June issue a boost. Beckham is a star player on both the England and Manchester United teams.

The issue, whose cover features Beckham in a black tank top, hits newsstands on May 3.