The soccer star flies from L.A. to London to be at his 59-year-old dad's side

By Simon Perry
Updated September 27, 2007 08:00 AM
Credit: Cousart-Ramirez Rios/ JFX

David Beckham flew back to the U.K. Thursday after his father, Ted Beckham, suffered a heart attack.

The Los Angeles-based soccer star, 32, dropped everything and dashed to the airport as soon as he was told the news.

“His father has had a heart attack and is currently being treated in [the] hospital,” the athlete’s rep confirms. “David is flying back to be with him. He is obviously incredibly concerned and wants to be with him.”

The elder Beckham, 59, from east London, suffered chest pains Wednesday evening. A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman confirms that its dispatchers were called and arrived just after 9:20 p.m.

Ted Beckham underwent an operation to unblock his artery, his son’s rep tells PEOPLE. A spokeswoman at the London Chest Hospital says the elder Beckham is in “stable” condition. He is reported to be in the intensive care unit.

Ted Beckham is divorced from the soccer star’s mother, Sandra. Besides David, Ted is also the father of two daughters, Joanne and Lynne.

David’s wife, Victoria, had been in Japan on business but was also set to fly to Britain on Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

The AP also says that two years ago, the elder Beckham penned an unauthorized book, David Beckham: My Son, that apparently caused a rift between the two men. Father and son have subsequently reconciled, however.

A source close to the family tells PEOPLE: “David has vowed to be by his [father’s] bedside for as long as it takes.”

Who’s turning 40? Which celebs are high school dropouts? What’s hot and definitely not in fall fashion? Check out PEOPLE’s new digital magazine now!