West Ham’s co-chairman David Gold passed away on Wednesday at 86, the Premier League club said, following a brief illness.
Gold was a lifetime supporter of West Ham after growing up across from the Club’s previous Boleyn Ground Upton home in east London and then participating in its boys’ team as a teenager.
By joining West Ham as co-chairman in January 2010, he realised a lifelong ambition.
Later on Wednesday, West Ham will travel to Leeds, and tributes to Gold are likely to be paid during the game.
What happened to David Gold?
At the age of 86, David Gold, the joint chairman of West Ham, passed away. In 2010, Gold, who grew up in Stepney and participated in West Ham’s youth programme between 13 and 16, became a co-chairman of the club’s board of directors.
David Sullivan, his fellow co-chairman, posted the following message on the club’s website in his honour: “On behalf of the football club, it is with tremendous grief and We mourn the loss of our friend and coworker, David Gold, with heavy hearts.” The day in January 2010 when we assumed control of our team, West Ham United, was the most fruitful of our joint ventures for us.
David Gold cause of death
Along with his fiancée Lesley, daughters Jacqueline and Vanessa, and after a brief illness, he passed away on Wednesday morning. In 2010, the Hammers were purchased by David Sullivan and Gold, two veteran supporters of the club. Gold, a wealthy businessman participating in West Ham’s youth programme between 13 and 16, was appointed joint chairman in January 2010.
David Sullivan, a joint chairman of West Ham United, said: “On behalf of everyone at the football club, I would like to express our profound grief and heavy hearts at the demise of our colleague and friend, David Gold.
The day we acquired control of West Ham United, our club, in January 2010 was the proudest and most joyful of our joint ventures. Since David grew up on Green Street across from the Boleyn Ground and played for the team at the junior level, he had a long-standing connection to the Hammers. His passing has devastated us since he always wanted the best for West Ham United.
Who was David Gold?
British businessman David Gold lived from 9 September 1936 to 4 January 2023. He served as the club’s president from 2003 to 2009. From 2010 until he died in 2023, he served as West Ham United’s joint chairman.
Born in Stepney, Gold was reared at 442 Green Street in East London, not far from West Ham’s Boleyn Ground. When he was a young West Ham football player, his father was requested to countersign specific paperwork as an apprentice professional for the first squad.
When Gold was a young child, Godfrey, the neighbourhood’s favourite East End criminal known as “Goldy,” was imprisoned. He had a Christian mother and a Jewish father.
Gold owned Gold Group International (GGI), the parent company of Ann Summers retailer and the lingerie chain Knickerbox. Ralph and Gold shared ownership of GGI until Gold bought out Ralph’s part in 2008.
He and his brother Ralph jointly owned Gold Star Periodicals (GSP), a publisher of adult magazines that also included printing and distribution businesses and several publications, including Rustler and Raider.
He and his brother liquidated their assets in November 2006. The brothers also gave up their part in Sport Newspapers in 2007 due to dwindling sales and profitability. He owned the corporate airline Gold Air International until he sold it in 2006 for £4.4 million.
Football clubs career
Birmingham City FC’s chairman
Gold presided over Birmingham City FC in the past. The Gold brothers were rumoured to sell their stake in Birmingham City in 2007 due to Birmingham’s recovery from relegation and lower-than-expected revenue.
In May 2008, following Birmingham City’s second-straight promotion to the Championship, he was reported as saying he was considering leaving his position as co-board chairman. He liquidated his Birmingham City shares in 2009. Gold claimed he did it in May 2005 to deter foreign bidders when he paid £488,620 for the second FA Cup trophy at auction.
Having bought a 50% stake in West Ham United in January 2010, Gold and David Sullivan now have complete control of the team’s activities. For these, joint presiding officers were chosen. They each increased their ownership position in the club to 30% in May 2010 for £8 million.
His time as West Ham’s chairman is noteworthy for several reasons. In August 2010, Aston Villa fans attacked his Rolls-Royce Phantom outside a bar close to Villa Park after their team’s 3-0 loss to West Ham. The car had $8,500 worth of damage. He said the incident was “the most horrifying moment of my football life.”
In November 2010, Gold blasted Birmingham City’s new owners for not honouring their agreement to keep him on as chairman after the club was sold.
In reaction, Birmingham City and its interim chairman Peter Pannu for their game against West Ham on November 6, forbade Gold from entering St. Andrew’s stadium. Later, Gold personally expressed his regret to Pannu on the West Ham website.
Gold has advocated for limiting football teams’ debt after the 2010 fight against Malcolm Glazer’s increase in the debt that forced Manchester United and Portsmouth into administration.
Because he thinks it is “cheating” for a team to take on debts they might never be able to pay off on their own, he claims he “fears for the league” and says this is why.