LONDON (AP) -- David Beckham arrived in Britain on Thursday to visit his father, who has been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack.
The England midfielder, who hasn't played a game since Aug. 30 because of a right knee injury, took the first flight from Los Angeles to London after hearing the news and arrived at Heathrow Airport at about noon.
"His father had a heart attack," Beckham publicist Simon Oliveira said. "David was made aware of it late last night. He caught the first available flight."
Beckham, wearing dark glasses and a brown jacket and jeans, sat in first class on the 12-hour flight and was the first person to leave the British Airways plane. He was met by two airline officials who had a car waiting on the tarmac.
The Los Angeles Galaxy player arrived at the hospital at about 1:40 p.m. but declined to answer questions on his way in.
Beckham's wife, former Spice Girls singer Victoria, was flying back to Britain from Japan, publicist Jo Milloy said.
The 59-year-old Ted Beckham was taken to a hospital near his home in east London on Wednesday night, and then transferred to another local hospital.
"We can confirm that he is a patient," Barts and The London NHS Trust spokeswoman Michelle Alexander said. "He's in stable condition at the London Chest Hospital."
Oliveira said Ted Beckham had surgery and is in intensive care.
Ted Beckham is divorced from the player's mother, Sandra. The pair also have two daughters, Joanne and Lynne.
In 2005, Ted Beckham published a book called "David Beckham: My Son." It was reported that the book led to a falling out between the two Beckhams because Ted did not get David's permission before writing it, but the pair have since reconciled.
David Beckham is one of the biggest sports personalities in the world. He joined Manchester United in 1989 at the age of 14, debuted in 1992, and won six Premier League titles and a Champions League medal before transferring in 2003 to Real Madrid. He joined the Los Angeles Galaxy this summer on a five-year, $32.5 million contract.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press