DAVID GOLD of the Three Musketeers died this week, and life at West Ham will never be the same for David Sullivan and I, nor quite so enjoyable.
At such a sad time it’s important to hold onto the happy memories which give you strength as you come to terms with the fact that someone so important to you won’t be in your life anymore.
David was a kind and thoughtful man, who was a key to the partnership that took over Birmingham City and then his beloved West Ham.
I first met him 34 years ago when I was 19, and at 23 when I took over Birmingham City we formed our football partnership and became the Three Musketeers — he, David Sullivan and I.
There was a great friendship, respect and trust between the three of us. Over those years, we have gone through so much in our business and personal lives.
I went from teenager to middle-aged woman with two children and he was always supportive and a dear, dear friend.
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A gentleman in every sense of the word, he made time to speak to everyone, from the warehouse to the stewards without any airs and graces.
He lived for his family, his football and his friends.
He and David Sullivan never missed a home or away game in 17 years of owning Birmingham City and not many owners can say that!
He also made his time at St Andrew’s a family affair. His mum, in her 80s at the time got very involved.
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She set up Monday bingo mainly for pensioners and went to every match with her son.
He took his daughters and later his beloved grand-daughter to West Ham. All of them his pride and joy. He was never happier than when he was with his girls.
He claimed he drank whisky because he thought his tipple, Tia Maria, wasn’t manly enough, we always had a giggle about that!
He flew his own helicopter, once landing in my back garden, only narrowly missing a tree.
He also crashed his plane at the training ground. Passengers beware, none of us would fly with him!
One of the greatest days in his life was becoming an owner and joint-chairman of West Ham in 2010 with DS, both life-long Hammers fans.
In 1990, before they owned Blues, together they owned 27 per cent of West Ham.
But the club’s owners at the time would not even give them a seat at games let alone the board, so they sold their stake, sadly, after about a year.
No wonder they had tears in their eyes when their Boleyn dream became real — two lifelong fans, two local boys made good, two best friends taking over their boyhood club.
DG played for West Ham boys teams, but his father refused to sign the scholarship forms, said he had to get a proper job!
The best he could do was keep a prized scrapbook of his mentions for the teams as well as the medals he won playing for the club as a lad.
He really did love WHU, he was a supporter through and through.
No question he was the East End boy made good. Growing up in poverty in a terrace house opposite the Boleyn Ground, he built his own retail business with his daughters by his side and eventually moved to a mansion with his own golf course.
He has seen his club transfer successfully to the London Stadium and the Hammers growing in hunger for the big successes the Musketeers worked so hard for.
No doubt he’ll be wearing our colours in heaven; I bet he is having a kick about with his hero Bobby Moore right now!
Tributes have poured in from across football for him; from players, boards and managers.
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One of the most touching was the applause Spurs fans gave him at Crystal Palace — from our fiercest rival, he would have loved that unique act.
For me and David Sullivan it is the end of an era. And we will miss him terribly.
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