The mother of Birmingham City FC chairman David Gold has died at the age of 92.
Rose Gold's closest family was at her bedside. Yesterday David Gold paid tribute to his mother, who often travelled from her home in London's East Ham to watch Birmingham matches.
He said: "People say you can't switch allegiances when it comes to football. But after me, my brother and David Sullivan bought the Blues, mum, who supported West Ham, became their number one fan.
"Just before she died, she asked me how the Blues had got on and I told her we had beaten West Brom 2-0. She smiled, closed her eyes and then around an hour later she was gone. She never said another word. Her dedication to the club was amazing. She would travel up to games on a Saturday and then she set up an OAPs club with Thelma Sullivan – David's mother – and would make the five-hour round trip on a Monday."
She was born in East London in 1914 and sold programmes outside West Ham's Upton Park.
She later met Godfrey and the couple had three children – David, Ralph and sister Marie – but the marriage failed after 30 years, resulting in her bringing the family up on her own. Nearly 40 years ago, Mrs Gold was hit with the devastating news that she had cancer but she survived following the removal of a lung.
To earn money for the family, she sold buttons from a market stall, before saving enough cash to buy a small bookshop.
David and Ralph began selling magazines from there and they eventually became owners of several adult magazine titles on their way to amassing a #465 million fortune.
Mr Gold said: "She led a remarkable life and there are so many things and so many memories, you would need to write a book to cover everything.
"It is very sad that she has gone as we thought she would live forever – she wanted to. Her determination to survive was incredible.
"Her love for her family was one of her biggest strengths throughout her life and we so desperately loved her. She was the matriarch who held the whole family together."
Mr Gold said they were planning a public memorial in early December to enable many friends and supporters to pay their last respects to his mother, while a tribute piece will be included in the programme for the Blues' Carling Cup games against Liverpool.
He added: "We think it will be appropriate to hold a memorial as there are so many people who would want to say their goodbyes to her."