David Beckham is moving into territory usually held by his wife Victoria - as the first solo male cover star for a women's magazine.

Elle said its July issue would be the first time the footballer has been photographed for the cover of a women's glossy fashion mag.

The cover shoot takes place in Los Angeles this evening and will be a nod to the Olympic Games by featuring David, "famous for both his style and athletic prowess".

The heartthrob, whose singer-turned-fashion designer wife is usually the one to grace magazines, said he was "honoured to have been asked to be the first ever solo male fashion cover".

The magazine's editor-in-chief, Lorraine Candy, said: "David Beckham is a national hero, so we saw an opportunity to shoot a celebratory cover to support an historical and patriotic year."

Elle UK has never featured a solo male on its cover before although celebrity pairings have included Kate Moss and Paul Weller, and Nicole Appleton and Liam Gallagher.

The magazine's July issue goes on sale on May 30.