West Ham co-owner David Gold dies after short illness, aged 86

West Ham co-owner David Gold dies after short illness, aged 86

West Ham co-owner David Gold has died aged 86.

The club has confirmed he passed away on Wednesday morning following a short illness.

A West Ham statement said: “It is with deep sadness that West Ham United FC confirm that our beloved joint-chairman David Gold passed away on Wednesday morning following a short illness.

“David Gold, 86, died peacefully with his devoted daughters, Jacqueline and Vanessa, and his fiancée Lesley, by his side.”

David Gold and fellow co-owner David Sullivan. (Getty Images)
David Gold and fellow co-owner David Sullivan. (Getty Images)

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan, who bought the club with Gold in 2010, said: “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 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.

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“He always wanted what was best for West Ham United, and his passing is a great loss for all of us.”

A lifelong West Ham fan, Gold was born in Stepney in September 1936 and grew up opposite the Boleyn Ground.

Gold was chairman and co-owner of Birmingham City before he and Sullivan bought West Ham from an Icelandic consortium, led by Eggert Magnusson, which had run into financial problems.

Gold and Sullivan fought many fires together - relegation in 2011, leaving Upton Park in 2016 and protests at the London Stadium – though West Ham finished sixth and seventh in the past two seasons and reached the Europa League semi-finals last season.

David Gold at a West Ham family event in 2019. (Getty Images)
David Gold at a West Ham family event in 2019. (Getty Images)

In 2022, Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky became the second‑largest shareholder at West Ham by purchasing a 27 per cent stake in the club, reducing Gold’s shareholding to 25.1 per cent.

West Ham manager David Moyes said: “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 say a full tribute to Gold will take place in due course.