Sunday, January 09, 2011


The Late, Great David Rocastle

I'll never forget the day I heard David Rocastle was leaving the Arsenal. I was driving round the stadium, Highbury, when I got a flat tyre. Together with a dead helpful security guard I managed to change the tyre and, as is normal when two or more Gooners are gathered together, we discussed the Arse.

He told me George Graham was getting rid of David Rocastle. I was gobsmacked. If I had Twitter I would have been on it straight away. How can you get rid of Rocky? He was one of our own. He'd come up through the ranks, made his debut in 1985 and was part of Graham's youthful revolution that saw us emerge from the wilderness after so many years.

He moved to Leeds United. At Elland Road he was given a rousing reception from the travelling Gooners. He only stayed six months before he was on his way again, to Manchester City. When we played there he was given a rousing reception from the travelling Gooners.

He never settled though after leaving the Arse and even ended up in Malaysia with Sabah. I was living in Thailand then and it was always my intention to travel down and catch him in a game. Then he would have been given a rousing reception by the travelling Gooner.

Lads he knew him say he was a top bloke. Loved the Arsenal. Very humble. His death was a great shock to everyone involved with the club. Even now, in quiet moments during a game his own chant, Oh Rocky Rocky, Rocky Rocky Rocky Rocastle, can be heard in tribute. You know what, it says much about the modern game in England that hardly any of the current team have their own chant and none of them will be as fondly remembered as David Rocastle.

The picture I have linked to shows him in Sabah colours after losing the FA Cup Final against Johor 1-0 in 1998. Just as Arsene Wenger was starting his own French revolution. Also in the picture are then Johor coach Steve Darby (thanks for the pix Steve) and, lifting the trophy, current Gombak United coach Darren Stewart.

UPDATE - quality tribute to David Rocastle

Really nice piece - may well inspire something from em tomorrow over at my place.

let me know if you do...will look forward to reading it
It's brilliant that you are so clearly just a huge fan of the wonderful game of football.

The sport needs more Anthony Sutton's. Really nice post. Keep writing.
i dont know about david rocastle...but the way you wrote this it shows that you are really missing about how impressive the old games are...
thanks for the positive comments. he was a great player and in a way many took him for granted. little did we know there ain't many english players like him anymore...
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