By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
David Beckham's grandfather has died, and the England midfielder may leave South Africa before Friday's World Cup draw.
Joseph West, who was Jewish, died Wednesday at 83 after battling a serious illness for several months, Beckham spokesman Simon Oliveira said.
Beckham found out about the death after landing Wednesday in Cape Town, and he will travel back to England if the funeral takes place Friday.
Beckham continued with pre-planned meetings Wednesday, including with FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Without citing the death, Beckham told FIFA's Web site that during the meeting they discussed how "family comes above anything we achieve in our careers and in our lives."
In his 2001 autobiography My World, Beckham explained how his grandfather's religion had influenced him.
"I've probably had more contact with Judaism than with any other religion," he wrote.
"I used to wear the traditional Jewish skullcaps when I was younger, and I also went along to some Jewish weddings with my grandfather."
Jeremy Last contributed to this report.
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