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West Ham co-chairman David Gold passes away at 86

Co-chairman of West Ham United, David Gold, has passed away at 86 after briefly battling an illness.

The Hammers fan and lifelong supporter of the club died peacefully in his sleep. His fiancee Lesley and daughters Jacqueline and Vanessa were by his side as he passed this morning.

Gold became joint-chairman of West Ham with David Sullivan in 2010. Before that, he was the chairman and co-owner of Birmingham City, selling his shares in 2009.

He helped West Ham stabilise during great financial uncertainty, protecting the club’s future and steadying the ship.

The business mogul was born in Stepney in 1936 and grew up at 442 Green Street. He lived directly opposite the Boleyn Ground (West Ham’s former stadium).

Gold played for the club’s young teams as a teenager and later appeared in the youth team.

“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,” said West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan on the club’s website.

“Of all our joint ventures, none gave us more pride and happiness than the day we took ownership of West Ham United, our club, in January 2010.

“David had a long-standing connection with the Hammers, having grown up opposite the Boleyn Ground in Green Street, and represented the club at junior level. He always wanted what was best for West Ham United, and his passing is a great loss for all of us.”

Manager David Moyes added: “I am extremely sad to hear this news and, on behalf of all of the players and my staff at the training ground, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to David Gold’s family at this very difficult 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 genuine and sincere love for the club and was a true supporter at 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.”

West Ham play Leeds United tonight in the Premier League looking to battle out of relegation trouble. The London club will pay tributes to Gold before the game.

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