David Gold, co-president of West Ham United, died at the age of 86 after a short illness.
The Premier League club announced that Gold passed away “peacefully” Wednesday morning alongside his daughters Jacqueline and Vanessa and fiancee Lesley.
Gold, a lifelong West Ham fan, bought the club with business partner David Sullivan in January 2010 before helping to oversee their controversial move from Upton Park to the London Stadium.
Sullivan said: “On behalf of everyone at the football club, we mourn the passing of our colleague and friend David Gold.
“None of our joint ventures has given us as much pride and happiness as the day we took ownership of our club West Ham United in January 2010. He has represented the club at Green Street and at a youth level. He has always wanted the best for West Ham United and his death is a big deal for all of us. a loss.”
Manager David Moyes added: “I am deeply saddened to hear this news, and on behalf of all the players and my team on the training ground, I would like to express our deepest condolences to David Gold’s family at this very difficult time.
“Mr. Gold was a regular visitor to Rush Green and has always been a great source of support and encouragement to me and the players. It was clear that he had a genuine and sincere love for the club and was a true fan at heart. He was always willing to help in any way he could. He will be greatly missed.”
A club statement said: “Thoughts and heartfelt condolences from everyone at West Ham United, along with David Gold’s two daughters, Jacqueline and Vanessa, his fiancee Lesley, and all of his family and friends at this extremely sad time.
“A full tribute to our beloved co-president will happen when the time comes.”
Gold’s death raises questions about the fate of his 25.1 percent stake in West Ham, potentially worth more than £200m.
A little over a year ago, he, Sullivan and other investors sold 27 percent of the club to Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky for between £180 and £200m with a full takeover option.
In March, a clause in West Ham’s so-called “deal of the century” tenancy at the London Stadium expires, requiring them to pay an unexpected profit on any profits from the sale of the club.
Sullivan currently owns 38.8 percent, fellow director Tripp Smith eight percent and other investors only 1.1 percent.
“He knew how to win with victory and lose with dignity”
Prior to acquiring West Ham, Gold and Sullivan had been co-owners of Birmingham City since 1993.
The son of an East End criminal, Gold played on West Ham’s youth teams from the age of 13 and then began a successful business career with his brother Ralph, most notably buying the lingerie empire Ann Summers.
The couple also became partners in adult magazine company Gold Star Publications and owned a stake in Sport Newspapers before selling their stake, while Gold made £4.4m in 2006 selling corporate air service Gold Air International.
By on Sundays The rich list, Gold and his family were worth £460m in 2020.
On Twitter, Gold was praised by the likes of Birmingham City and Crystal Palace president Steve Parish.