Angelo Ogbonna dedicated West Ham United's impressive 1-0 win over Brentford in the Emirates FA Cup third round to the Club's late Joint-Chairman David Gold.
Gold, who grew up in Green Street opposite the Boleyn Ground, played for the Club as a schoolboy, and took over as Joint-Chairman in 2010, passed away peacefully on Wednesday at the age of 86.
Three days later, the Irons were in action against Brentford. The Club coming together to progress into the FA Cup fourth round with a performance and result in west London Ogbonna devoted to the late Joint-Chairmen.
"I think this victory was for him," said Ogbonna, after Saïd Benrahma’s strike settled the tie. "[His passing] is very sad. I will pass my condolences to his family.
"He was very welcoming when I came to the Club [from Juventus in 2015]. He always came to the training ground, and in the early days he even came in his helicopter, which was fun! He showed us that he really cared. Of course, we miss him.”
Central in an impressive back-three alongside Nayef Aguerd and Craig Dawson, the Italy centre-back led a defence that frustrated Thomas Frank’s outfit in west London.
The Bees had beaten Liverpool, Manchester City and West Ham, and also taken a point from Tottenham Hotspur in their previous four fixtures, before the Hammers took their sting and booked their place in the round of 32 thanks to a moment of magic from Benrahma.
Introduced with a little over 20 minutes to play, the No22 picked up the ball following a strong tackle from Declan Rice and struck a vicious effort past a helpless Thomas Strakosha. It a match that lacked quality until then, it was a goal well deserving of settling a FA Cup tie, according to Ogbonna.
“The finish was amazing from Saïd," enthused Ogbonna. "The goal was beautiful. For the fans, it was not the nicest game [to watch]. But at least we showed that West Ham [are back to what we do]."
And that will be the aim then. For Ogbonna and company, a crucial victory not only sent the Hammers into the next round of the FA Cup but ended a winless run of six games in all competitions.
The task now is to move forward. And with an impressive win at Brentford under their belts, the Hammers must now build on that momentum. Important fixtures away to Wolverhampton Wanderers and at home to Everton follow quickly, before a FA Cup fourth-round tie on the final weekend of January.
"I think it was something that can help us for the next game," the centre-back added. "This is a really good competition, the Cup is very important. [The win] is a good boost. The feeling of winning is unbelievable. And I want this victory to drive the team [forward]."