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DAVID GOLD’S first memory from a lifetime following West Ham was when a German doodlebug exploded at Upton Park and closed the ground for six months
Ah, ‘Birmingham City Football Club’, 13 CFC. I had a Chevy people carrier that we used when we went to football – that was before we used to fly – and wherever we went we got a ticket. I remember it happening at Norwich, Oxford, Aston Villa. I went to Swansea once and we were running late and the police pulled us over because the 1 and the 3 were too close together.
You could be forgiven for misinterpreting the stylish DG belt buckle and discrete shirt monocle as Dolce & Gabbana designer labels or the Roller’s D 6OLD number plate as trappings of ostentation. But in needing to re-emphasise his identity, David Gold – the slight, deprived East End boy now worth £450 million, helm of Ann Summers and Chairman of Birmingham City Football Club – perhaps isn’t as self confident as he might portray.
When you view Surrey from the sky, it’s even more stunning than it can be from the ground. It’s a patchwork of fields, rich woodland, hills, lakes and some beautiful properties – noticeably more interesting than other counties with bigger conurbations or vast areas of farmland. I normally fly at around 2,000ft and 150mph but when I reach the Surrey border I like to slow down to 60 and go down to around 500ft, so I can take in the magnificent views.
David feels that not only has he created a superb home for himself, he has also preserved a sumptuous building for generations to come. 'It has been a labour of love for me — I'll probably be here all my life,' he smiles.
The countryside in this area is wonderful" he says. "I think Surrey is one of the most outstanding counties for its beauty, and I wanted to be here.
THE stylish opulence of David Gold’s Surrey sprawl is in stark contrast to his deprived roots.
As a kid, West Ham’s new co-chairman survived the Blitz, bomb-sites, hunger, illness and anti-Semitism in East London.
Growing up, he overcame being denied his dream of playing for the Hammers and flirted with the Krays’ notorious gangland scene, before eventually becoming a prominent figure on Britain’s Rich List. Continue reading...