Today is a very special day….

Intro by rico

Wednesday March 31st 2010

Today marks a very very special day in the Arsenal calendar. It’s a day for true Arsenal fans to give a thought to one of our own…….. Raise a glass, remember a goal, remember a special piece of magic….. and there were many….!

Most of all though remember the man himself  – Mr David Rocastle.

Rocky has been gone nine years today….!. I bet most of you will know where you were and what you were doing when on that fateful day we heard the news that Rocky had passed away…………! I was devastated……….. How, why……………. so young……….. I felt an emptyness and I think I still do, why exactly, well because the man was proper Arsenal, he was one of us, a down to earth Arsenal fan, he lived the dream he was also a true legend, an Arsenal great…!.

What we saw on the pitch with Rocky we could all relate to.  He was Arsenal, cut him open and he was red and white inside just like us. He had passion for the club for the team for the shirt and for the fans, you knew he was upset when we lost like we were, he was overjoyed when we won just like we were and he fought for every ball, ran until the last second of the game and he gave it all for the club he loved because it was his club and our club.

Name one player now who would cry when told that they were being sold ? The only reason they would cry now is the thought of earning less money maybe. Rocky cried because he was torn apart, torn apart because Arsenal, his club, were selling him.

Following written by resident blogger RSD

So Just who is David Rocastle?

Rocastle was born at Lewisham on 2 May 1967. In the summer of 1983 he joined Arsenal as an apprentice and spent two years in the youth team before signing a professional contract just before the start of the 1985-86 season.

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, 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 and against their nearest rivals Liverpool.

To this day, 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 during that time.

 International Debut

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 also 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.

Life for Rocky after 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.

 Rocky and 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, more than that, he always conducted himself as a gentleman.

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. 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?

David Rocastle represented everything that was good about football. Honesty, passion, teamwork, commitment, and of course, sheer brilliance, 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.

Nine years have flown by and we all know he would of walked into this current side, can you imagine that….? what a sight that would of been…!.

RIP Rocky, gone but never forgotten and today of all days it would be rather fitting if the team gave us a perfomance that Rocky would also be proud of..!


A Pre match post will be up around 3pm, but right now today belongs to David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle and his family – may peace be with you all – rico


101 Responses to Today is a very special day….

  1. W.A.T.H says:

    RIP Rocky……………… Never Forgotten….!!

  2. rico says:

    Never WATH, Never….. Hope he rests in peace and gets to see a true Arsenal performance later….

  3. JonJon says:

    oh rocky rocky

    what a player….RIP

    i hope we see a mins silence tonight and a few banners about the ground

  4. OM says:

    RIP Rocky…still the only player I have a ‘best of’ video cassette! Not even Bergkamp or Henry got that Rocky! True legend and my first ever favorite player 🙂 tonight will hopefully be for you….

  5. W.A.T.H says:

    Top post Rico………….!! That clip is enough to choke anyone up…! We need that grit and determination 2nite along with the passion and attitude of wanting it soooooooooo bad….!. Lets hope your up there smiling lata Rocky…!.

  6. JonJon says:

    thanks for the post guys..he deserves to be remembered…

    ive read it 3 times…

  7. Erick says:

    RIP Rocky your Record tells it all hope we will turn it on for you today Rocky Rocky

  8. rico says:

    Morning JJ, OM…

    He deserves a great performance tonight…

    I choked too WATH, that clip tugs your heart, big time…

  9. Erick says:

    Morning all what a coincidence if any one deserves it today its Rocky come on Arsenal for Rocky

  10. rico says:

    Here here Erick… I hope the club remember his passing tonight..

  11. W.A.T.H says:

    They should play that clip b4 the game 2nite…….. That may liven the crowd up…!

  12. Le Foxe says:

    Top post guys.

    Remember being at Old Trafford for the FA Cup game against Spurs and the minutes silence being impeccably observed. Just thinking about that, and the huge roar that followed and the constant singing of his song makes my eyes water and my spine tingle. Thats before I even think about the game and result itself!

    Currently based overseas and have been in the office for the last 4 hours unable to concentrate – cannot wait for the game, if for nothing else then just to settle the nerves down with a pint! Jealous of all you Gooners heading down there!

    Come on your Gunners!!!!!

  13. rico says:

    And in the dressing room WATH..

    Wonder if any of Rocky’s family will be going to the match?

    Thanks LF, reading your comment makes the eyes sting, even after nine years…..

  14. W.A.T.H says:

    LF the mins silence was the league game the week before at Highbury…!

  15. Erick says:

    Today is a very emotional day hope we do a great deal of Justice to it

  16. Joseph says:

    I wasn’t following football during Rocky’s time at Arsenal but, wow, what a player, what a man. RIP Rocky. I am sure you will be watching among us tonight. God bless.

  17. rico says:

    Welcome Joseph, nice comment, he was a top man…

  18. coggster says:

    I remember a cracker he scored from about 30 yards at Old Trafford. I was so excited, I ran into the back garden shouting YES YES YES!!!! I didnt care if all the neighbours thought I was crazy.

  19. rico says:

    morning coggster, good to see you here on this special day

  20. Erick says:

    Coggster thats what passion is all about I like it 🙂 🙂

  21. Erick says:

    Rico great day Echo Echo

  22. rico says:

    Its a strange old day Erick, yesterday I was so excited about tonight, elated over the mancs losing and rooney picking up a niggly injury, yet today having time to reflect on the big man Rocky, it kind of puts life back into perspective – just how does such a young family get over losing a father and husband…..

  23. Le Foxe says:

    WATH – that was for the league game. They held the silence again for the semi final

  24. Erick says:

    True Rico they say live today like their is no tomorrow, times a healer but it doesnt in some cases

  25. rico says:

    I don’t think time heals Erick, I think time just gets you ‘used to the loss’…

  26. Erick says:

    Deep stuff Rico deep but what do we say 😦 😦 😦

  27. avenell says:

    Morning all..

    well done RSD and well done rico.
    a very fitting tribute to a legend!

    I have to go out to work again now where there are no computers, but I will try to get on later.

    Chat soon..

  28. rico says:

    Hi ave, thanks – good to hear from you, catch up soon…

  29. W.A.T.H says:

    LF………. My apologies…. Got in late to the semi didnt know they did another mins silence….! The roar was good but nothing like the one early in the 2nd half…..! remember that one…! made the hairs on the back of ur neck stand up and go all cold…..! One of those moments that live with u 4ever…!

  30. rico says:

    Erick, maybe too deep, sorry ….

  31. W.A.T.H says:

    Mornin Ave, take it easy mate…!

  32. W.A.T.H says:

    Not 2 deep at all Rico, spot on actually……!. Wonder how many of the current lot would cry if they were told they’d been sold…. A very valid point….!. Show’s how much the club really mean’t to Rocky it’s also why we could relate to him so easily… He was one of us simple as that, you can’t say that about any of the squad now…!.

  33. Suhail.TV says:

    Morning all..

  34. i love the intro rico.
    it cut deep…….

  35. rico says:

    Thanks wath, when cesc came on against villa, scored his goals, i saw tears in his eyes, he may not be london born, he probably won’t ever feel for the club the way that Rocky did, but he sure as hell cares… but he is an exception to the rule imho….

    Rocky was and probably always will be a ‘one off’

  36. rico says:

    Morning Suhail, good to see you again..

    Morning to you rsd, thanks and followed very well with your post, thanks, I enjoyed reading it. I also enjoyed the one on rsd, i tried to leave a comment but failed…

  37. have know idea how you sign in via wordpress either rico.

  38. W.A.T.H says:

    I agree Rico, Cesc cares and a few others to be fair but they don’t care like Rocky did or a few others from that time….! When we lose it ruins my weekend, my week I don’t wanna talk to people I dont wanna go out or be sociable…. I am grumpy cos it hurts so much….! I don’t think todays players feel like that at all and yet 20/25yrs ago I would say they did…!. Money and greed change many things…!

  39. rico says:

    its on now rsd..

  40. mine just revisionism just copy and paste luv
    put together nice but still
    it only about one thing

    oh rocky rocky…..

  41. Suhail.TV says:

    Nice to see u 2 rico, great post, he’ll be remembered for ever.

  42. rico says:

    wath – i get exactly where you are coming from, when the final whistle goes and we have lost, or drawn a match in the fashion we did against Brum, its like I have a personality change, i cant think of anything else for a couple of days and sad that this sounds, i don’t sleep…

    thats why i can’t understand many who can just say things like ‘dont blame almunia, he did save a penalty last year!!’

    We lose, I hurt, big time!!

  43. rico says:

    Thanks Suhail, rsd must take the credit though, he did all the research – did you ever get to see Rocky play?

  44. Suhail.TV says:

    Am not that lucky rico, or i don’t remember as was a kid that time. But heard lot abt that 5star arsenal team and its english idols.

  45. rico says:

    Suhail, If we had eleven now,who could play like him , play with his kind of heart, we would have the league and LC in the bag by now…

    I never saw him in the flesh sadly, only on television/dvd etc..

  46. Suhail.TV says:

    Wat abt todays match, be inspired and beat barca.

  47. rico says:

    Suhail, a pre match post will go up around 3pm, will you be around for the game stuff?

  48. Suhail.TV says:

    I will try, i got another stuff.. Am exam tomorrow.

  49. rico says:

    Not so good then, all the best for the exam.. hope to see you later

  50. Suhail.TV says:


  51. brrr
    how annoying is nn

  52. dont worry their not watching lol

    hows you today?

  53. rico says:

    me rsd? Im ok thanks

  54. so whats this balcony garden plan?
    we have a day bed on ours and with a 2/1/2 year old running round plants dont get much of a chance unless there hanging. the orchid survived but only after it had its leaves shredded.

  55. rico says:

    nowt really, just messing after suggesting the living salads from lidil

  56. rico says:

    off for a bit, back in an hour or so…

  57. Evo in Oz says:

    greetings all, not long now, biggest game of the year!

  58. Evo in Oz says:

    Classic Arsenal vs Liverpool game from 03/04 season on foxsports 3 as we speak. Not hard to remember the 4-2 Gooner result in that one!

  59. JonJon says:

    g’day evo…

    i know mate the butterflies are kicking in as we speak

  60. Evo in Oz says:

    henry 3rd goal was sublime, carragher turned inside out and nutmegged a ripper!

  61. can i be bother to go do any work today no!

  62. Arsenal have kept six successive clean sheets at home to Spanish opposition.

  63. Evo in Oz says:

    gotta hit the sack for the 5.45am kick off, see you all then!

    Up the Gooners!

  64. JonJon says:

    any news on how long hes out for

  65. Doctors warned today that Rooney’s injury could sideline him for three month

  66. Erick says:

    JJ and RSD how are you guyz

  67. just trying to while down the hours you know safari
    try to work out which teams make up this

    Arsenal have kept six successive clean sheets at home to Spanish opposition. what are they?

    villarreal twice
    real madrid

    just cant do the last two

  68. deportivo
    and valencia?

    well that wasted 2 hours
    seven to go

  69. rico says:

    Don’t worry rsd, KTR7’s post is going up in a couple of hours, that will get us ready for the match, hoefully we will have some team news then 🙂

    I’m cleaning, its good for emptying the mind 😉

  70. 2 post in day!

    how very le grove you today!

  71. oh no my post is on nn

  72. JonJon says:

    shrek out 4 week

  73. rico says:

    I’ll take that as a compliment rsd 🙂

  74. rico says:

    Yo JJ, the bearer of wonderful news 🙂

  75. rico says:

    good news on nn rsd..

  76. is a bit revisionist

  77. rico says:

    what is rsd??

  78. Erick says:

    If i may ask what is nn? RSD Imagine am in the library and nothing is sinking got an exan on saturday hope the Lecturer is an Arsenal fan so for each question i will answer Arsenal 😉 😉

  79. Erick says:


  80. W.A.T.H says:

    Wondering………………… lager, win, vodka or whisky……… decisions decisions..!

  81. rico says:

    Erick, it’s newsnow, gives all the up to date football news, well stuff made up 🙂

    all of them wath 😉

  82. Erick says:

    Thanks Rico the sailor is back howdy 😉

  83. i think arsenalflash and are better and faster and less up them…………

  84. rico says:

    what better than newsnow?

  85. marca say cesc is fit

  86. rico says:

    what do marca know? they are a lying real madrid paper, nearly as bad as The Sun 😉

  87. Erick says:

    Rico you made it to RSD blog saw your comment 🙂 nice

  88. yeah for arse news check them out spec if you have twitter and even more if run tweetdeck cos arse news just flashs up on your screen.

    a screen of flashing arse.

  89. W.A.T.H says:

    I think ur right Rico a pint of each in no particular order………..! Afternoon Erick…..!

  90. rico says:

    Go for it wath, but a glass of water in between all 🙂

    been on there before Erick and left a comment, but its hard being on two blogs… in fact sometimes in hard enough on one 😉 😆

  91. Erick says:

    Cesc will play he already sent a text to Iniesta telling him injuried or not am in 😉 oh my spanish is poor 😉

  92. rico says:

    I gotta pop out for half an hour, then its match day 🙂 🙂

  93. like to do 3 or 4 at once!

    i also like to blog!

  94. Erick says:

    Afternoon Wath making merry i see 🙂 hope you make it to the game 😉 😉 Rico it goes up very early RSD does not sleep thats what i take for breakfast 🙂 i understand its tough especially when you have to make ends meet

  95. Erick says:

    True RSD am also doing three at a go its fun 🙂

  96. W.A.T.H says:

    Water is for girls Rico….. Off out too… the time has cometh………….! Cheers all….! see ya 2moro…!

  97. rico says:

    New Post is up….

    Have a good one wath

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