David Beckham is ''honoured'' to be the first male cover star of ELLE magazine.

The soccer ace - who is married to singer-turned designer Victoria Beckham - will be the first solo man to be on the face of the July issue of the prestigious British publication, which is dedicated to the London Olympic Games.

He said: ''ELLE is a prestigious magazine with international recognition. I'm honoured to be asked to be the first ever solo male fashion cover.''

Men have been featured on The Front page of ELLE previously but only in the company of a woman - Liam Gallagher once appeared with his wife Nicole Appleton in the January 2001 edition, and Kate Moss posed with Paul Weller in February 1997.

Commenting on the development, 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.

''He is an icon and ELLE is known for featuring icons on its cover. This is a first for us on the newsstand and I believe he is loved by men and women alike.

''Anyway, who doesn't want to see a picture of one of the world's most handsome men on the front cover of a magazine? It will be a collector's issue.''