David Gold (businessman)

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David Gold
David Gold 2014.jpg
Gold in 2014
Born(1936-09-09)9 September 1936
Stepney, London, England
Died4 January 2023(2023-01-04) (aged 86)
Occupation(s)Joint chairman, West Ham United
Owner and Chairman of Gold Group International, incorporating Ann Summers
Beryl Hunt
(m. 1957; div. 1972)
PartnerLesley Manning
Children2, including Jacqueline Gold

David Gold (9 September 1936 – 4 January 2023) was a British businessman who owned Gold Star Publications and Sport Newspapers. He was the chairman of Birmingham City Football Club until 2009. From 2010 to his death in 2023, he was the joint chairman of West Ham United.

Early life[edit]

Gold was born in Stepney[1] and brought up in East London at 442 Green Street near to West Ham's Boleyn Ground. He played youth team football for West Ham and was offered forms to sign as an apprentice professional for the first team, which his father refused to counter sign.[2][3] His father, Godfrey,[4] was an East End criminal, known locally as 'Goldy', who spent time in prison during Gold's early years.[5] His father was Jewish[4][6] and his mother was Christian.[7]

Business career[edit]

Gold owned Gold Group International (GGI), the parent company of the retailer Ann Summers and lingerie chain Knickerbox. GGI was jointly owned by Gold and his brother Ralph, until he bought out Ralph's share in 2008.[8]

Gold co-owned (with brother Ralph) adult magazine company Gold Star Publications (GSP), including printing and distribution businesses, and a stable of titles including pornographic magazines Rustler and Raider. He and his brother sold their interests in November 2006. In 2007, the brothers also sold their share in Sport Newspapers,[9] following falling sales and profits.[citation needed]

Gold owned corporate air service Gold Air International until he sold it in 2006 for £4.4 million to Air Partner.[10]

Football clubs[edit]

Gold was a past chairman of Birmingham City F.C. In 2007 the Gold brothers were believed to be in the process of selling their share in Birmingham City[11] which followed Birmingham's return from relegation[12] and lower than expected profits.[13] After the club was relegated once again to the Championship in May 2008, Gold was quoted as saying he was considering stepping down as joint head of the board of Birmingham City.[14] He sold his Birmingham City shares in 2009.

In May 2005,[15] Gold bought the second FA Cup trophy at auction for £488,620, saying he wanted to prevent it being bought by overseas buyers.[16]

In January 2010, Gold and David Sullivan acquired a 50 per cent share of West Ham United giving them overall operational and commercial control of the club. They were appointed joint chairmen.[17] They increased their share of the club to 30% each in May 2010 at a cost of £8 million.[18] His time as chairman of West Ham was conspicuous due to several incidents. In August 2010 his Rolls-Royce Phantom car was attacked by Aston Villa fans outside a pub near Villa Park after West Ham's 3–0 defeat. The car sustained £8,500 worth of damage.[19] He described the incident as "the most frightening experience of my football life".[20] In November 2010 Gold criticised Birmingham City's new owners for reneging on their promise to keep him on as chairman following the sale of the club.[19] Birmingham City and their acting chairman, Peter Pannu, responded by banning Gold from their ground St Andrew's for Birmingham City's game against West Ham on 6 November.[21] Gold later issued a personal apology to Pannu on West Ham's own website.[22]

After the campaign against Malcolm Glazer's increase in the debt of Manchester United and Portsmouth going into administration in 2010, Gold advocated regulating football clubs' debts. He felt it is "cheating" for a team to take on debts which they could never pay off without external assistance and that he "fears for the league".[23]

Personal life and death[edit]

In 1957, Gold married Beryl Hunt. They divorced in 1972 after Gold found her cheating on him with his best friend in his swimming pool, on the same day he caught his father stealing his shares.[24] Hunt died in 2003. They had two children:[4]

  • Jacqueline Gold (1960–2023) was CEO of Ann Summers and Knickerbox Ltd until her death in 2023.[25][26]
  • Vanessa Gold (b. 1966) is the managing director of Ann Summers and Knickerbox Ltd.[27]

In 2005, Gold wrote his autobiography Pure Gold with co-writer Bob Harris. This dwells on his early childhood poverty, ascent in business and involvement with Birmingham City.[citation needed]

As of May 2012, he lived with his fiancée Lesley Manning, in Caterham, Surrey.[28]

Following West Ham's move from the Boleyn Ground to the London Stadium in 2016, Gold was subjected to protests from groups of West Ham supporters who were unhappy with the move and who accused Gold of having taken money from the club and of being a "liar".[29]

According to the Sunday Times Rich List in 2020, Gold and his family were worth £460 million.[30]

Gold died on the morning of 4 January 2023, at the age of 86.[31]


  1. ^ "David Gold: West Ham chairman passes away at age of 86 following illness". Jack Rathborn. The Independent. 4 January 2023. Retrieved 7 January 2023.
  2. ^ Jubert, Jamie (21 October 2019). "West Ham CEO David Gold talks poverty and career success". SurreyLive.
  3. ^ "West Ham's grounds for optimism over Olympic Stadium". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b c The Independent: "Golden balls: West Ham United's co-owner reveals his cunning plan for the Olympic stadium" by Robert Chalmers 19 August 2012
  5. ^ Viner,Brian (3 October 2011). "David Gold: 'My dad was in jail, we were in abject poverty, West Ham was pure escapism'". The Independent. London. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  6. ^ European Jewish Press: "Jewish businessmen prominent in British 'Rich List'" Archived 14 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine 24 April 2006
  7. ^ Pure Gold: My Autobiography by David Gold p. 25 and p. 50
  8. ^ Weir, Laura (28 February 2008). "Ann Summers co-founder steps back from business". Drapers. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Sports Newspapers sale nets £1m fee". The Telegraph. London. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  10. ^ "David Gold's game of two-halves – Business Analysis & Features, Business". The Independent. London. 10 August 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  11. ^ "BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Birmingham City | Yeung takes stake in Birmingham". BBC News. 16 July 2007. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  12. ^ "This Is The Most Important Battle of My Life Says David Gold". Daily Mirror. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  13. ^ "BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Birmingham City | Birmingham issue finance warning". BBC News. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  14. ^ Stuart James at St Andrew's (12 May 2008). "Sullivan and Gold on brink after venom of Blues fan protests | Football". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  15. ^ "UK | Birmingham City boss buys FA Cup". BBC News. 21 May 2005. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  16. ^ "David Gold: 'I can't sleep at night. I lie there thinking over all the permutations – if we win, and Portsmouth draw, and West Brom lose...' – Premier League, Football". The Independent. London. 29 April 2006. Archived from the original on 23 February 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  17. ^ "West Ham United Statement". West Ham United Official Website. Archived from the original on 21 January 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  18. ^ "Chairmen increase shareholding | News | Latest News | News | West Ham United". Whufc.com. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  19. ^ a b MacAskill, Sandy. "Birmingham City acting chairman Peter Pannu is disgusting, says David Gold". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  20. ^ "David Gold offers reward to catch Rolls-Royce vandals". davidgold.co.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  21. ^ "Birmingham ban David Gold from St Andrew's over claim". BBCsport. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  22. ^ "An apology to Mr Peter Pannu". whufc.com. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  23. ^ Agencies (3 March 2010). "West Ham's owner David Gold fears more clubs will enter administration | Football | guardian.co.uk". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  24. ^ Gold, David (27 February 2012). "@Jayoconnor8 I saw my wife having sex with my best friend in my swimming pool on the same day I discovered my father stealing my shares.dg".
  25. ^ Clarke, Anna (2 February 2020). "Ann Summers CEO Jacqueline Gold on finding work-life balance after cancer". The Telegraph – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  26. ^ "Jacqueline Gold: How I started my business". Virgin Start Up Loans – Support and Advice to Start Your Own Business. 24 December 2014.
  27. ^ "Ann Summers poaches ex-House of Fraser & Game directors". Retail Gazette. 6 March 2019.
  28. ^ The London Telegraph: "West Ham chairman David Gold on his rise to fame and fortune" by Natalie Graham 14 May 2012
  29. ^ "Threats and violent protests 'cannot be tolerated', says West Ham co-chairman David Gold". BBC Sport. 6 February 2020.
  30. ^ "Rich List 2020: profiles 201-300=". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  31. ^ "David Gold – 1936-2023". whufc.com.

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