West Ham United joint chairman David Gold has died on the age of 86 following a brief sickness.
A lifelong Hammers fan, Mr Gold was born in east London in 1936 and raised in a home on Green Street – instantly reverse the membership’s former stadium, the Boleyn Ground.
West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan stated: “On behalf of everyone at the football club, it is with profound sorrow and a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of our colleague and friend, David Gold.
“Of all our joint ventures, none gave us extra pleasure and happiness than the day we took possession of West Ham United, our membership, in January 2010.
“David had a long-standing reference to the Hammers, having grown up reverse the Boleyn Ground in Green Street, and represented the membership at junior degree.
“He always wanted what was best for West Ham United, and his passing is a great loss for all of us.”
Mr Gold was additionally a former chairman of Birmingham City.
Hammers vice-chairman Karren Brady was amongst these paying tribute, writing on Twitter: “To a great man, a great friend for over 30 years and a complete gentleman – you will be missed. Rest in peace x.”
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish wrote on Twitter: “Terrible information, David was an absolute gentleman, all the time had variety and supportive phrases for me when issues had been robust.
“He knew how to win with grace and lose with dignity. He loved football and he loved his club. I will miss him. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
Former Hammers ahead Carlton Cole wrote on social media: “Mr Gold was a favourite of mine at the club.”
“Always had time for me and wanted me to win in life. A very kind & warm-hearted man. Thank you for the conversations and memories. RIP.”
Found fame and fortune in enterprise world
Mr Gold represented West Ham’s boys’ staff between the ages of 13 and 16 and later appeared within the youth staff.
Despite exhibiting promise at soccer in his youthful years, he would discover his fame and fortune on the planet of enterprise.
He was the proprietor of Gold Group International (GGI), the dad or mum firm of retailer Ann Summers and lingerie chain Knickerbox.
Mr Gold entered soccer membership possession in 1996 with long-term enterprise proprietor David Sullivan, shopping for a majority stake in Birmingham City.
The pair, alongside Karren Brady, helped flip across the fortunes of the then-struggling Midlands membership, although typically remained at odds with the followers.
After the membership suffered relegation from the Premier League to the Championship in 2008, Mr Gold introduced his intention to promote his shares within the membership. The sale befell in 2009.
Buying his boyhood membership
A yr later, in January 2010, it was introduced that Mr Gold had purchased a 50% share in West Ham with long-term enterprise associate Mr Sullivan.
Despite his assist of the membership, Mr Gold, and Mr Sullivan, had a number of run-ins with the West Ham fan base, most notably over their determination to maneuver the membership from its Boleyn Ground residence to the London Stadium in 2016.
Mr Gold and Mr Sullivan had pressured the necessity to transfer the membership to the state-of-the-art facility to assist push the facet in the direction of European soccer.
But among the membership’s followers had been upset on the determination to maneuver the membership from its residence of 112 years to a stadium which had initially been purpose-built to host monitor and discipline occasions for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Writing concerning the determination in his biography, David Gold: The Ultimate “Rags To Riches” Story, he admitted he was torn concerning the determination.
“Whilst on the one hand I was excited by the possibilities of moving to the Olympic Stadium, I knew it meant demolishing Upton Park and having the site redeveloped into flats, which really troubled me,” Mr Gold wrote.
“I also knew a lot of fans didn’t want to move but ultimately we all, as fans, want success. We want to win the FA Cup, we want to get into Europe and challenge the top teams in the Premier League.
“We had explored each risk of rebuilding Upton Park however there have been highway blocks and restrictions at each flip. So the truth was that, to safe the industrial way forward for the soccer membership, we merely needed to transfer.”
However, initial fan anger over the move has calmed in recent years, particularly in light of the club’s development under current manager David Moyes.
‘A source of great support’
Paying tribute, Mr Moyes said: “I’m extraordinarily unhappy to listen to this information and, on behalf of the entire gamers and my workers on the coaching floor, I wish to prolong our deepest sympathies to David Gold’s household at this very troublesome time.
“Mr Gold was a regular visitor to Rush Green and always a source of great support and encouragement to myself and the players.
“It was clear that he had a real and honest love for the Club and was a real supporter at coronary heart.
“He took a great interest in the people working behind-the-scenes and was always keen to help in any way he could. He will be greatly missed.”
Mr Gold had two daughters Jacqueline and Vanessa together with his first spouse, Beryl Hunt, who he married in 1957.
The pair divorced in 1972. Though Mr Gold didn’t re-marry, he had lived with fiancée, Lesley, of their Surrey residence since 2012.