Soccer

West Ham pay tribute to David Gold ahead of their clash with Leeds

West Ham pay tribute to David Gold by covering his empty seat with a Hammers shirt and a bunch of flowers in the directors’ box… before a minute’s applause is held at Elland Road ahead of their clash with Leeds

  • West Ham’s co-chairman David Gold passed away on Wednesday aged 86
  • The lifelong Hammers fan died following a short illness before tonight’s game
  • A West Ham shirt with Gold’s name and the No 1 on was draped over his seat 
  • Both sets of players wore black armbands during the Premier League match
  • Fans also broke out into a minute’s applause in tribute of Gold before kick-off

West Ham and Leeds have paid tribute to David Gold ahead of their Premier League game on Wednesday following his sudden death earlier in the day.

The Hammers announced earlier on Wednesday that Gold had passed peacefully in the morning following a short illness at the age of 86.

In tribute to the Hammers co-owner and lifelong fan, a West Ham shirt with his name and No 1 was draped over the seat where he would’ve have watched the game at Elland Road.

A West Ham shirt with David Gold’s name and the No 1 on was placed on his seat at Elland Road

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan sits down next to the empty seat with the flowers on

West Ham announced earlier in the day that Gold had passed away at the age of 86

A bunch of flowers was also placed on the seat as both clubs paid their respects.A bunch of flowers was also placed on the seat as both clubs paid their respects.

West Ham’s co-owner David Sullivan took his seat in the director’s box without his business partner before a spontaneous applause broke out around the ground ahead of kick-off.

Both sets of players also wore black armbands in tribute to Gold.

Crystal Palace and Tottenham’s players also paid their respects to Gold with a minute’s applause before kick-off at Selhurst Park in the 8pm kick-off. 

West Ham boss David Moyes spoke highly of Gold ahead of his side’s Premier League clash at Elland Road on Wednesday.

The LED boards at Elland Road show a graphic of Gold following his death at the age of 86

Both sets of fans took part in a minute’s applause ahead of the Wednesday evening kick-off

Moyes said: ‘We’d known David was ill for a little while, but unfortunately he passed away today. Our condolences to all his family.

‘He was a really, really good man. He’d come into the training ground every Thursday or Friday and have lunch with us, we were missing it over the last few months when we didn’t see him quite so much.

‘Obviously he was someone we were really fond of.’

Gold, who grew up at 442 Green Street, directly opposite the Boleyn Ground, was a lifelong Hammer and it was in January 2010 when he fulfilled a dream by becoming co-chairman of the club. 

Following the news of his death, Gold’s fellow co-chairman Sullivan said: ‘It is with profound sorrow and a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of our colleague and friend.

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

Tottenham and Crystal Palace’s players also held a minute’s applause for Gold at Selhurst Park

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

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. 

Gold holding aloft the Championship Playoff trophy after West Ham beat Blackpool in the 2012 final to earn promotion to the top flight

‘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.’

Gold became co-chairman at Birmingham City alongside Sullivan in 1993 and remained with the the Blues for 16 years, eventually selling his share before taking over West Ham in 2009.

His tenure at the club oversaw the Hammers’ move from the Boleyn Ground to the London Stadium, and he also experienced the club’s relegation to the Championship and subsequent promotion back to the top flight in 2012.

More recently, Gold watched West Ham compete in the Europa League in 2021-22 and Europa Conference League in 2022-23.

Birmingham honoured Gold’s passing with a statement on Wednesday and said: ‘The Club is devastated to learn of the passing of former Chairman David Gold at the age of 86. 

‘Our thoughts are with his daughters Jacqueline and Vanessa, and his fiancée Lesley at this incredibly difficult time.’

Meanwhile, Irons vice-chairman Karren Brady also took to social media to pay tribute to her former colleague.

She tweeted: ‘To a great man, a great friend for over 30 years and a complete gentleman – you will be missed. Rest in peace x.’ 

Gold worked alongside David Sullivan (right) as co-chairman at West Ham from January 2010

Adrian Bevington, former Managing Director of Club England, added: ‘David Gold was always a kind and polite man whenever speaking with him. Sad news. Thoughts with his family and those close to him.’

Former Premier League star and England international Stan Collymore also took to Twitter to pay his respects after the 86-year-old’s passing.

The now pundit wrote: ‘Met David Gold a few times, always friendly. I remember a Monday debate on talkSPORT where we were squarely on opposite sides of a fan ownership debate, but after it finished he was incredibly gracious. Sending love to @Jacqueline_Gold and family. Rest in Peace, David.’

Former West Ham striker also paid homage to Gold on Wednesday, saying: ‘Remember we were going in the wrong direction financially as a club and I remember David Sullivan, Karren Brady and obviously Mr. Gold coming in and changing it around.

‘It was just a shame that we went done a couple of years after they took over. They [David Gold and David Sullivan] invested a lot of money into the club and you got to understand that we are where we are because of him, David Sullivan and Karren Brady.’

The co-chairman signing programmes for fans at the Mark Noble Testimonial Match in 2016


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