West Ham chairman: Wembley win was the best day of my footballing life
10:52 24 May 2012
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West Ham co-chairman David Gold went through every emotion possible in the play-off final, but came out smiling
West Ham co-chairman David Gold has had glorious days in football in the past, but as you watched him strolling around the turf at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, you could see that this was more special than all the rest.
“This is my greatest day in football,” said Gold, the grin on his face failing to hide the overwhelming pride that he was feeling.
“This is my football club. That’s not to say that I didn’t give everything to Birmingham City because I did, but here I give more because this is my club.”
You could see it in his face. You could see by the way he was reluctant to let the trophy from his grasp.
While co-owner David Sullivan is the more outspoken of the chairmen, Gold is the heart of the club, he feels the pain and suffers the same nerves as the supporters because he is one.
“It was nerve-racking and disppointing in the fact that it was stressful,” he said. “They came out after half time, scored straight away and from that moment on I was thinking they are the better side and they are the more likely to score.
“They looked the better side, but you have got to ride your luck and we did that and I think we deserved that bit of luck.”
You could tell he had kicked every ball, suffered every anxiety and not because of the £30million fortune that he had invested on promotion, but because West Ham is his team.
“You could argue that we all ride our luck in this business and many games during the season the luck was against us.
“Here, the luck only really came with the fact that they didn’t score when they should have.”
It was not how Gold and Sullivan had planned the season. It was supposed to be a waltz towards the Championship title, but with promotion finally secured, there was time for the chairman to joke.
“I think this was a cunning plan on Sam’s behalf,” smiled Gold.
“Originally we said to him ‘get us promoted as champions’ and he didn’t do that, then we said, ‘get us promoted automatically’ and he didn’t do that. I think it was because he wanted to come here!”
After the mistakes of appointing Avram Grant as manager and the consequent relegation, the transformation has been completed at West Ham and Gold can rightly take part of the credit for that.
He is West Ham through and through and you only have to listen to him talk about the club he loves to realise just how deep that goes.
“I stand on the balcony of the boardroom at Upton Park, look out and I can see my house where I used to live as a kid,” he reflected.
“I can see the front room where I used to peer out of and look up and see the stadium from when I was seven-years-old.
“I can see my school which got bombed during the war and just beyond that I can see the Olympic Stadium.
“So there is my whole life. Standing at West Ham I can see the past, the present and the future.”
And that future is surely a brighter one for West Ham fans with people like Gold on board – the co-chairman should know, he is one of them!