Tributes have been paid to “gentleman” David Gold after his death at the age of 86 was announced by West Ham.
Gold, who died on Wednesday morning following a short illness, was born in Stepney and played for the Irons’ boys team.
Following a successful career in business, which also included a spell in the boardroom at Birmingham, Gold became joint-chairman of the Premier League club in 2010 alongside David Sullivan after a successful takeover.
Sullivan spoke of the club’s “profound sorrow” in announcing the death of his long-time friend and business partner, with condolences from clubs, officials and players soon following.
Hammers vice-chairman Karren Brady also worked with Gold at Birmingham.
She wrote on Twitter: “To a great man, a great friend for over 30 years and a complete gentleman – you will be missed. Rest in peace x”
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish paid tribute to an “absolute gentleman”.
Parish wrote on Twitter: “Terrible news, David was an absolute gentleman, always had kind and supportive words for me when things were tough.
“He knew how to win with grace and lose with dignity. He loved football and he loved his club. I will miss him. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
Former players also recalled fond personal memories of Gold’s time in football.
“Mr. Gold was a favourite of mine at the club,” ex-Hammers forward Carlton Cole wrote on social media.
“Always had time for me and wanted me to win in life. A very kind & warm-hearted man. Thank you for the conversations and memories. RIP”
Tony Cottee scored 146 goals in 336 appearances during his two spells with the east London club.
“I’m sad to hear the news of David Gold passing away,” the former England striker wrote on Twitter. “He was a nice man who cared passionately about West Ham. RIP David”.
Gold had previously been the chairman of Birmingham before selling his shares in the club in 2009.
Curtis Woodhouse recalled the support Gold had shown him while with the Blues.
“I had some difficult times at @BCFC and when everybody else was trying to sack me, David reached out to try and help me,” said the former midfielder who went on to become a professional boxer.
“That meant a lot to me then but even more to me now I’m older and I understand. RIP David.”
Former Blues striker Clinton Morrison wrote on social media: “Such sad news rip David. He looked after me and my family when I signed for Birmingham city made me feel welcome at the club.
“Such a nice guy sending thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.”
Birmingham passed on condolences to Gold’s family.
“The club is devastated to learn of the passing of former chairman David Gold at the age of 86,” a Birmingham statement on Twitter read.
“Our thoughts are with his daughters Jacqueline and Vanessa, and his fiancée Lesley at this incredibly difficult time.”
The Football Association said in a post on Twitter: “We send our deepest condolences to David’s family, friends and everyone at West Ham United at this very sad time.”