Dave Gardner has a face you might recognize, but probably can’t figure out why.

Since 2001, the forever-young football agent has been a regular in the background of celebrity photos – with his head down as the paparazzi vie for shots of his famous pals.

But despite his low-key public persona, the 38-year-old has been central to two of London’s most important social circles for more than a decade; he is David Beckham’s best friend and also a key member of Kate Moss’ Primrose Hill group.

So who is this man and how did he become one of London’s most connected men?

Dave Gardner pictured with David Beckham and Mazdak Rossi at the launch of Beckham’s Haig whiskey

It all started at the tender age of 14 when Dave joined Manchester United’s youth team.

Although the signing only lasted five years, it was to avoid a permanent impact on both his professional and love life.

It was at Manchester United that Dave became friends with Ryan Giggs, as well as young David Beckham.

Gardner and Beckham were promising athletes who spent every evening on the soccer field and quickly became best friends.

But while Beckham joined Giggs as one of the best players of his generation, Gardner struggled to keep up and left the club as a teenager.

However, his time at the club was not wasted – shortly after his departure, Dave set up Elite Sports Agency with Six Alex Ferguson’s son Jason,

Dave with James Corden at a magazine party in 2013

Dave with James Corden at a magazine party in 2013

The pair’s contacts meant they soon became two of the biggest football agents in the Premier League.

A few years later, Dave decided to start his own company, which is still growing today.

Although the pair no longer train together, Dave’s friendship with Beckham has stood the test of time and he is one of two old pals the superstar credits with keeping his feet on the ground.

He is the godfather of David’s eldest son, Brooklyn.

In 2014, he was one of the friends the star invited to join him on a boys’ holiday in Brazil.

It was his friendship with Ryan Giggs that shaped much of his personal life over the past decade.

When Dave was in his early twenties, Ryan dated his sister Emma, ​​who he later dumped for Hollyoaks actress Davinia Taylor.

Dave Gardner with ex-girlfriend Rita Ora and Harry Styles at a party in February 2013

Dave Gardner with ex-girlfriend Rita Ora and Harry Styles at a party in February 2013

At the time, Dave was in a long-term relationship with model Stacy Cook, and the pair were a constant presence on Manchester’s social scene. But the relationship ended abruptly after Stacey left him for Ryan.

Heartbroken Dave and Davinia – who is also the heiress to the multi-million dollar Luroll empire – found comfort in each other’s company and things worked out in the end as the couple eventually married in 2003.

Beckham was best man at the £875,000 wedding, with Atomic Kitten singer Jenny Frost as a bridesmaid.

Over the next few years, the pair were key components of the famous Notting Hill Group – a group of famous British stars, including Sadie Frost, Jude Law, Meg Matthews, Sienna Miller and Rhys Ifans, which centered around Kate Moss.

In 2007, Davinia gave birth to their son Gray, and Kate Moss and David Beckham were named godparents.

For a while the couple seemed to have it all, with Dave showering his wife with expensive gifts and the couple regularly taking groups of friends on holiday to Davinia’s father’s yacht in the Mediterranean.

Dave Gardner and Kate Moss - the supermodel introduced him to his girlfriend Liv Tyler

Dave Gardner and Kate Moss – the supermodel introduced him to his girlfriend Liv Tyler

But gradually Davinia’s alcohol and bipolar problems proved too much to bear and cracks began to appear in the relationship – with him reportedly often left at home looking after the baby.

The couple divorced in 2010, with Dave citing Davinia’s “unreasonable behaviour” as the reason for the split, and he was awarded custody of their three-year-old son.

The couple sold their Supernova Heights home for £3m to comedian David Williams.

For some time, Dave made very few appearances in show business and was hesitant to return to the dating scene.

A short-lived affair with Stephanie Dorrance, who was the ex-wife of Campbell’s soup business heir, reportedly ended because he felt she was too quick with her money.

Then in early 2013, Dave hit the headlines again after it was revealed that he was enjoying a relationship with pop star Rita Ora, who was 15 years his junior.

The pair have been spotted out on numerous dates and Rita was photographed on the Walk of Shame in the early hours of the morning from his London home in the same outfit she wore the night before.

But the relationship was again short-lived, with Rita moving on to her ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris, while Dave allegedly enjoyed a brief fling with Kelly Brook.

It was only in mid-July 2014 that rumors of his romance with Liv Tyler – a Hollywood actress and daughter of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler – first appeared.

Liv is no stranger to the British Isles – her previous husband and father of her first child is Leeds native Royston Langdon of the band Spacehog.

It was reported that Kate Moss conspired to hook the pair up after she was convinced they would have a falling out.

A source told the Sun newspaper at the time: “It’s the real deal. Dave and Liv are madly in love.

“They have a child the same age, which is perfect. They are at a similar place in their lives and ready to settle down with the right person.”

The supermodel was right – the following year they were engaged and continued their relationship for seven years.

Liv and Dave had two children, Saylor and Lula, and settled in the Cotswolds.


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