Beckham runner-up in list of best fathers
The nationwide study of more than 1,200 boys and their parents found one in five boys, or 18 per cent, look up to the former England captain.
The findings are in contrast to those of parents who favoured musicians, actors and even royalty among their role models with Madonna and Diana, Princess of Wales securing pole position with 14 per cent each.
Other celebrities on the list included Jeremy Clarkson, Lord Sugar, Bill Gates and Simon Cowell.
Louise Ellis, sport psychologist and performance consultant, said: "It's testament to Beckham's sheer hard work and determination both on and off the pitch, as a sportsman, a businessman, a father and a global ambassador.."