From The World of Arsenal Blog:
Tomorrow is the 31st of March and it marks the 7th year anniversary of the great man’s passing. For those of you old enough to remember the tricks, skills and flair of such a talented player, it’s a day that you’ll always remember. For those of you too young to know or see Rocky in action, he was a truly naturally gifted player and someone who can only be described as “Arsenal through and through”. His love for the game was immense and played the way that Arsenal have always been affiliated with.
All About David Rocastle
In association with www.rocky7.co.uk
Aron Lazarus and Marc Levy are two Arsenal fans and Rocastle fans who have set up the site, here’s an insight to what the site is all about and a bit of a history about Rocastle.
Who is David Rocastle?
Rocastle, or ‘Rocky’ as he became known, made his Arsenal debut in a goalless draw against Newcastle on 28 September 1985 and soon became a regular member of the first team. In 1987, just before his 20th birthday, he helped Arsenal to a famous League Cup Final victory over Liverpool, and their first trophy in 8 years. This was followed up by another League Cup Final appearance a year later, but this time Arsenal surrendered a 2-1 lead to lose 3-2 to a last minute Luton Town winner. Despite that defeat, Arsenal were on the up and, along with other starlets like Tony Adams, Paul Merson and Michael Thomas, Rocky was part of a young Arsenal team that were destined for greatness.
When did Rocky win his first league medal?
In 1989, Rocky and his teammates tasted major glory, winning the clubs first League Championship since 1971 and in dramatic fashion, with a goal in the last minute of the last game of the season, against their nearest rivals Liverpool. It remains the most exciting finish to a league season ever and will probably never be matched.
This success was followed up 2 years later when Arsenal once again were crowned champions, this time in even more convincing fashion, losing just one game all season. Unfortunately, injury meant that Rocky’s contribution was limited to 18 appearances that season.
Did Rocky have International honors?
By the age of 24, Rocky had been an integral part of a team that had picked up 3 trophies in 4 years. His huge contributions were well documented and on 14th September 1988, Rocky was selected to play for England for the first time, in a 1-0 victory over Denmark, which as provided debuts for England greats Paul Gascoigne and Des Walker.
Then what happened?
Rocky was destined for a long and successful career on both the domestic and international stages. However, in the early 1990s, he suffered a series of injuries which began to hamper his game and in 1992 he was transferred to Leeds, much to the dismay of all Arsenal fans, by whom he was adored.
What happened after Rocky left Arsenal?
After leaving Arsenal, Rocky played for a number of other clubs, including Leeds, Manchester City and Chelsea, however, the fans of these clubs only saw the Rocky magic in fits and starts as his career continued to be blighted by injury. In 1999, after further short term spells at Norwich City, Hull City and Malaysian outfit Sabah, Rocky succumbed to his injuries and was forced to retire.
What did Rocky mean to Arsenal?
In all Rocky made 14 appearances for his country, a staggeringly low total for a man with his talent. Despite leaving Arsenal in 1992, Rocky forever remained a part of the Arsenal family. The fans loved him not only because of his brilliance on the pitch, but because he played the game with a smile on face and his heart on his sleeve, and more than that, he always conducted himself as a gentleman.
Tell us more about Rocky’s illness
In February 2001, Rocky announced that he was suffering from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the immune system. He underwent a course of chemotherapy and thousands of fans prayed for his recovery, but this was a battle that was too much, even for David Rocastle. Rocky passed away on 31st March 2001, aged just 33.
What did David Rocastle represent to you?
David Rocastle represented everything that was good about football. Honesty, passion, teamwork, commitment, and of course, sheer brilliance, and we believe that this is why he remains in the hearts and minds of all Gooners who were privileged to see him play and who continue to sing his name, even today.
How did www.rocky7.co.uk come about?
The ongoing love for Rocky amongst Arsenal fans is what inspired us to create this website, so that people could have a place to share their memories and stories about Rocky. However, we also felt that it would be great to create an opportunity for everyone to do something really worthwhile in Rocky’s honour.
Charities have been setup to raise money for cancer. Tell us about ways of raising money?
We are delighted to have teamed up with Arseshirts.com to produce 3 limited edition t-shirts in honour of Rocky. These t-shirts will only be on sale from 25th March to 30th April 2008 and every single penny of profit from their sale will go straight to TreeHouse, a charity that supports children with Autism. Rocky did endless work with children’s charities himself, so we feel that this is the perfect way to honour his memory.
For more info and for details on how to purchase shirts and see tributes to Rocastle from family and friends, visit the site, http://www.rocky7.co.uk
Before I leave you, take a look at this video, some of you might of seen it before, for me, it brings a tear to the eye.