Carlton Cole says West Ham players always had to be on the lookout for helicopters, as David Gold would often land one on the club’s training pitches.
Cole was paying tribute to joint-chairman Gold, who sadly passed away following a short illness at the age of 86.
He had been owner of the club, along with David Sullivan, since 2010 and the former Hammers striker revealed he was a regular presence around the training ground.
He also revealed Gold was seen as a grandfather figure by many at West Ham, saying he was a genuine Irons fan and did a lot of good for the club.
Cole, who scored 68 goals in 293 games for the Hammers, told talkSPORT: “I remember the times when we used to be training and would be halfway through and just hear a helicopter coming.
“We were always looking out for helicopters as we knew it might land at any time at the training ground and blow all the cones away.
“The session would have to wait while he landed. Once he landed, he’d come over and say hello to every single player.
“And the best thing was, he was the one flying it – he used to fly his own helicopter! It was like his car driving in. Seeing that, I was like ‘wow’. He’d come out like it was a car and park it.
“It was amazing to see. I wanted to be like this guy when I grew up. He was a top person.”
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REST IN PEACE
West Ham joint-chairman David Gold dies after short illness as tributes paid
Cole also paid tribute to Gold and gave an insight into what he was like to him and other players at West Ham.
He added: “He had empathy. He was like your normal grandad, would want you to win in life.
“He knew the rules as well. You work hard, you play hard, you will get rewarded for that.
“He always had his arm around me if he felt I was in a low place. Trying to lift your spirits, especially if he did like you.
“He was a great person, great guy, and did a lot for the club.”