Gold family lay wreath outside childhood home after death last month

David Gold’s family lay wreaths outside his childhood home and West Ham’s old stadium in east London as part of a celebration of the former chairman’s life following his death aged 86 last month

  • The funeral for West Ham’s joint-Chairman David Gold took place following his death last month
  • Pictures showed Gold’s family laying a wreath outside the childhood home of the former chairman 
  • A planned route will start at the London Stadium before travelling to Upton Park and then returning

The funeral for West Ham’s late joint-chairman David Gold took place this afternoon following his death last month.

Gold passed at the age of 86 and his emotional send-off today will include stops at West Ham’s old and current homes, both the London Stadium and at Upton Park. 

Tributes for the lifelong Hammers fan have flooded in across recent weeks, with a particularly moving tribute being paid during West Ham’s clash with Everton two weeks ago, prior to the funeral commencing today. 

The family of former West Ham chairman David Gold were pictured at holding wreaths during the funeral on Wednesday

A wreath that spelled out ‘DAD’ was displayed in the hearse that paraded through the streets for the former chairman

Lifelong Hammers fan Gold died at age 86 and his celebration of life will include visits to the club’s old and current stadiums

His family were seen laying a wreath in-front of his childhood home – which has since been turned into a Caribbean takeaway

The funeral cortege departed West Ham’s current home, the London Stadium, at 12.45pm and made the 20-minute journey to 442 Green Street, Gold’s childhood home.

It is just a few hundred yards from the site of West Ham’s iconic former stadium, the Boleyn Ground, where they played between 1904 and 2016.

Born in September 1936, Gold grew up in difficult circumstances in London’s east end. The introduction to his autobiography is entitled ‘The Stench of Poverty’ as he described the stink that permeated the house thanks to a leaky roof.

West Ham have published the route Gold’s funeral cortege will take, both starting and finishing at the London Stadium

Gold, a qualified helicopter pilot, pictured with the original FA Cup trophy, which he bought at auction for almost £500,000 

Gold played football for West Ham’s boys’ teams up to the age of 16 and was offered an apprenticeship by the Hammers – only for his father, Godfrey, to apparently refuse to sign the parental permission forms.

He took jobs as an apprentice bricklayer on £3 a week in what Gold described as ‘nothing short of slave labour’ as he fetched brickies’ coffees and copies of the Daily Mirror.

Despite these immense challenges in his early life, Gold’s life was a true rage-to-riches tale. He showed early signs of the entrepreneurial talent that would serve him well by selling buttons and kids’ comics on a stall outside his home.

Gold pictured with his fiancée Lesley Manning at London Stadium before a West Ham match

With his brother Ralph, Gold set up an adult magazine company called Gold Star Publications. He later owned a corporate air service and was chairman of lingerie chain Ann Summers.

The 2020 Sunday Times Rich List estimated the fortune of Gold and his family at £460million.

Gold was involved at Birmingham City alongside his brother for 16 years, serving as chairman, before selling his shares in the club in 2009.

In January 2010, Gold and David Sullivan acquired a 50 per cent share of West Ham and were appointed joint-chairman with overall control of the club.

Gold (pictured with David Sullivan) took over West Ham in January 2010 after getting into football at Birmingham City

Gold wrote: ‘I have to confess I was quite emotional. It was the fulfilment of a lifetime ambition, although through the years I had never really believed it would happen.

‘Some people might say it was the fulfilment of a boyhood dream, though, in truth, because of the poverty I grew up with, I could never have had such a dream.

‘My dream back then was to own a bicycle, not a football club.’

Given his upbringing, Gold admitted feeling immense unease at moving West Ham from their spiritual home at Upton Park to the cavernous London Stadium, which hosted events at the 2012 Olympics.

The crowd at the London Stadium applauded in Gold’s memory ahead of West Ham’s match with Everton last month 

Floral tributes on the pitch at the London Stadium ahead of last Saturday’s match with Everton following Gold’s death

Mark Noble and members of Gold’s family with floral tributes at the side of the pitch  ahead of the match with Everton 

But Gold said the club ‘had to grasp the nettle’ if they were to compete at the highest level of Premier League football and for trophies.

West Ham’s time there has seen mixed fortunes and Gold was the target of abuse from supporters as the team battled relegation.

But the stadium has also witnessed a memorable run to the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League and notable wins over the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool.

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