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Thursday, 31 March 2016

A real Arsenal Man

David Rocastle

Fifteen years have now passed since David Rocastle passed away at an impossibly young age. On this date, since I started it, this site has been dedicated to remembering Rocky. When I was a boy he was my Arsenal hero and he remains one of the greatest players our Club has ever seen. 
Rocky was a player who had everything in his game. He was quick, had unbelievable skills, was strong and tough, he could tackle as hard as anyone, he worked for the team, and he could score goals - unbelievable goals. When I hear people talk about what a great player David Beckham was it astounds me as he couldn't do even half the things that David Rocastle could do. If you think Beckham was a great footballer then you never saw Rocky play. This video has a number of his greatest moments as an Arsenal player.

He wouldn't have been out of place in the other team here

I was at work fifteen years ago today, having swapped a shift in order to go to the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham a week later, I was having to miss the home game with them instead. It was a colleague who told me that Rocky had died. I had a radio with me to listen to the game later on and I immediately tuned in to Radio 5 to hear the tributes coming in. I had to leave the office briefly to compose myself. Rocky was the first of my childhood heroes to pass away. It took me back to the day when he was unforgivably sold to Leeds by George Graham following a wonderful season in which he had dominated the centre of Arsenal's midfield - I was emotional that day too when I saw the back of the newspaper announcing Rocky was on his way out of Arsenal. I was 13 years-old and Rocky was my Arsenal hero. 
We are fortunate that there are a number of Youtube videos in honour of the Great Man, and this year there is a new one. It features voice-overs from Nigel Winterburn, Michael Thomas and an extremely emotional Ian Wright. Wrighty talks about his childhood friend in the most affectionate terms and if you haven't seen the ITV film made about Ian then I urge you to try and get a viewing of it - Rocky taught him what it mean to "be" Arsenal. He was, quite simply, a true Arsenal Man.

Beating the scousers at Wembley

If you are going to the Watford game this Saturday there will be a minute of applause in the seventh minute of the game in order to pay tribute to David Rocastle. Sing his name loud and let him know we all still remember him, one of the best players I have ever seen, or ever will see.

RIP Rocky.

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