27 JUNE 2002
Legendary nightclub owner Johnny Gold celebrated his 70th birthday in style on Tuesday surrounded by the cream of the showbiz world. The founder of Londonís exclusive St Jamesís disco Tramp was joined by a role call of famous names including Rod Stewart, Joan Collins and husband Percy, Cilla Black, George Best and Barbara Windsor.
And there were presents for the birthday boy, too. Michael Caine, his wife Shakira and other friends gave Johnny a Bulgari watch, while Roger Moore presented him with a magnum of champagne. Meanwhile Welsh diva Shirley Bassey serenaded her old chum with a solo rendition of Happy Birthday.
Johnny, who began life as a Brighton bookie, has run Tramp for over 30 years, in the process becoming confidante and friend to stars and royalty alike. Although he sold his interest in the club five years ago, he remains an integral part of its scene dropping by at least three times a week.
ďFor some people, three score years and ten is a milestone,Ē he says. ďFor me itís a miracle. Last night I left Tramp at two and then I got up at seven to go to AscotÖIf youíre a people person, like me, you need people. I like to look around the dance floor, see everyone going crazy, having a good time. I enjoy it.Ē
And despite his advancing years Johnny has no plans to quit the Jermyn Street nightspot. ďI donít care if Iím using a Zimmer frame,Ē he announced. ďIím never going to stop.Ē