David Gold, joint chair of English top-tier soccer side West Ham United, has died today (January 4), aged 86.

Gold, who has passed away “following a short illness,” became joint chair of the East London side in January 2010.

He took control of West Ham alongside David Sullivan and since then has overseen the club’s move from their old Boleyn Ground venue to the London Stadium, first used for the London 2012 Olympics and now West Ham’s home, in 2016.

West Ham currently sit 17th in the 2022-23 season of the Premier League.

In a statement, Sullivan said: “On behalf of everyone at the club, 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, in January 2010. David had a long-standing connection with the Hammers, having grown up opposite the Boleyn Ground … and represented the club at the junior level. He always wanted what was best for West Ham United, and his passing is a great loss for all of us.”

The club has added: “The thoughts and sincere condolences of everyone at West Ham United are with David Gold’s two daughters Jacqueline and Vanessa, his fiancée Lesley, and all of his family and friends at this extremely sad time.”

Before taking over at West Ham, Gold was chairman and co-owner of Birmingham City, who are currently in the second-tier Championship but a resident of the Premier League for a large part of his tenure.

He spent 16 years at Birmingham, before eventually selling his shares in 2009 and striking the West Ham deal the following year.

Away from soccer, he was the chair of the Ann Summers retail chain and has previously owned an adult magazine and a corporate air service.

Karen Brady, West Ham’s current vice chair, has called Gold “a great man, a great friend, and a complete gentleman” in a Twitter post.

The move to the London Stadium has seen West Ham’s home crowd numbers increase significantly, and in the last two seasons, the men’s team has finished fifth and then seventh in the Premier League.

However, Gold and Sullivan have not always been popular with the club's fanbase for what has been seen in recent years as a lack of necessary on-field investment.

During the 2021-22 season, the club recorded a pre-tax profit of £12.3 million ($14.8 million).

In November 2021, Daniel Kretinsky, a billionaire from the Czech Republic, purchased a 27% stake in West Ham.

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