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 Post subject: Rocastle tribute thread
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:12 pm 
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As announced on the forum annoucement board we are holding a sponsored forum login, we are hoping to get as many forum users online at one time as possible,

We want everbody to try and login at 3pm Sunday 2nd April,

We have created this thread as our tribute thread to Rocky and we'd invite everybody to leave their memories and tributes over the next couple days.

It can be detailed particulars, describing a moment that you remember, general aspects about the man and player, images or video compilation tributes.

To start the thread going we've found a good video compilation which is well worthy of viewing:

http://media.putfile.com/Rocky-Comp

The one for me that sticks out was his lob against Aston Villa, as shown in the video above.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:27 am 
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unfortunatly i think im just to yong to remember rocky playing for us, but my dad and the lads i go to the arsenal with all say he was a fantastic footballer and a great credit to our team and after watching that clip i have to say i agree with them.

I am very sad and disappointed that his career ended so early because i would have loved to see him play live and appreciate his talent.

Obviously i cant really give him a real proper tribute but i hope this will do.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:59 am 
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I can't think of a better way of using my 3,000th post.

To be honest I don't really remember a lot about him playing for us. What I do remember is asking my mum to stitch a No. 7 in the back of my first replica shirt, so I could be like my favourite player.

I was only about 6 years old at the time, but something about him appealed to me, I can't remember what.

When writing the 'best moments' piece with Lenny the research I undertook made me realise what a terrific player he was and how a knee injury robbed the world of one of its all time greats.

Reading the tributes made to him at the time of his death and even now makes me realise that the world was robbed of one its great men as well.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:23 pm 
I'm going to my 1st and only game (this seasonb) at Highbury today, and the reason is that it is the Rocastle game.

I was at Highbury for his debut and it was simply the best debut I'd seen. It was all that me and my dad could talk about in the pub after the game. In fact it was all that anyone in the pub was talking about.

I just wanted to be there today.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:02 am 
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there are so many memories of watching that team play, somehow i remember my focus being on rocky and his fantastic skills. I used to watch all of those matches from the lower west stand, i was a junior gunner, and with my dad (who has now also sadly passed) we would watch, and he would point out rocky for he knew that he was my favourite.

times changed and rocky moved on, i remember seeing him on a shopping trip with his family one saturday afternoon at brent cross. I was in two minds whether or not to approach him, as i made that first step i stopped in my tracks thinking, leave the guy alone he is with his family, i'm glad i did.

he was a hero to us little ones, and he will always have a space in my heart.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:08 pm 
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The first time I heard of David Rocastle was from a colleague, who described a South East Counties League match where a sixteen-year-old Arsenal midfielder had completely dominated the game in a 4-0 win. The youth league was packed with talent at the time, and for anyone to be head and shoulders above the rest was unusual. Rocastle was substituted after an hour. Tommy Coleman later told my friend that the substitution had been made because Rocastle was so good, there was little point in his team mates giving the ball to anyone else, so even with the game won, they weren't learning anything.

I saw Rocky's first team debut, his final competitive match in an Arsenal shirt, and a good percentage of those inbetween. He never gave less than his best, and never played for himself. David was a team man, a club man, a gentleman, but above all, a gentle man. I was against the decision to sell him, but understood why it was made, as did he. I was certain Rocky's time at the club was not over, but he departed with unfinished business, one of the saddest days I have known at the club. The loss to Arsenal and the fans is nothing compared to that of the Rocastle family, but I hope that they take comfort from knowing the positive influence he had on so many others.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:41 pm 
Well I guess its time for my small homage to take place. Rocky was a player who grabbed you in the heart. He came through the ranks, through the youth set up, he was schooled at Arsenal, he was Arsenal. In the George Graham era only Tony Adams in my opinion could match him for pure commitment to the club. Rocky had the perfect physique for a winger, descent height, and superb athleticism. His balance was second to none and his technique not far behind. How many times did you see Rocky grit his teeth and punch encouragement to his team mates to keep battling? He was like us being on the pitch, a fan, with the added ingredient of having talent. The Rocky Rocastle chant became ingrained within the club, a chant to rank up there with the best of them and one that was given priority whenever he was on the team sheet.

George had an abundance of talented individuals coming through the ranks at that time but it was Rocky’s technique that set him apart, a gifted dribbler and finisher of spectacular goals to boot. He was like Pele compared to some of the drivel we had to witness prior to the George Graham era (eighties). I have not come across too many video clips of his which is a shame for those who never had the privilege of seeing him play.

Goals, well two really stood out for me. One was a goal he scored against Liverpool at Anfield in a League cup game, an absolutely stunning strike on the right hand side of the penalty area. The other well I was there at Old Trafford to witness it and it’s a goal that demonstrated what magnificent vision he had as a footballer. Yes he was wearing chevrons but perhaps that made it all the sweeter. He skipped in and out of a few tackles and then chipped Schmeichel who was off his line, from what seemed about 35 yards out. None of us behind that goal at Old Trafford could believe what we where witnessing as Schmeichel scrambled, no let’s not beat about the bush….begged to get back to prevent it hitting the back of the net. For a moment all of us gooners behind the goal were heartbroken when the ball came back off the bar. It was a moment that deserved better. We need not have worried, it got better. We then witnessed to our delight the coup de grass of the ball coming back off schmeichel’s head and into the back of the net….lovely jublee! The United fans in the tier above us where a picture I can tell you, they where on the verge of puking their guts out at the sight off the delirious, dancing, gooners beneath them…a memory to treasure for a lifetime.

When George Graham committed the crime of selling Rocastle, I came close to hating him. It was like ripping the cannon out of the club emblem and sticking Mickey Mouse in its place. I just could not believe that we where selling him?….I was in depression for days if not weeks afterwards. As Rocky left the club with tears in his eyes I could not help feeling that it was a mirror of our own. Wrighty was devastated as I’m sure where many other players at the club. Graham was ruthless but he was ruthless with the wrong player. Rocastle was the attacking heart of Arsenal that could have made Ian Wright’s goal scoring record even more impressive. Which ever club he played for those fans I’m sure would have a Rocky memory to carry with them. He never sold a fan short and always gave the maximum that his will and body would allow for. It’s a crying shame that he never played more for England because his talent deserved such a stage.

His death was about as shocking as it gets…I felt numb about it for a long time, we had grown to love him as a player, he felt like one of our own. His behaviour outside of football was a real reflection of himself as a person, a real gentleman and an example to us all. I was at a few functions that he attended and he was polite and friendly. At no point did he demonstrate an over inflated ego so common among footballers we see today. I shook his hand on those occasions and he was polite and respectful, I must have been one of thousands of Arsenal fans who had approached him and stated the same thanks, but he treated my gratitude and praise for his efforts as if it was the first time he had ever heard them. I seldom approach any well known figure I respect because I feel they deserve their own space, with Rocastle I broke that rule and to this day I have never regretted it. I think it’s great that we continue to remember him, he will always be there in our hearts and he will always be OUR Rocky.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2006 12:26 pm 
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I know this is a bit late, but I had the great pleasure of refereeing him in a floodlit youth team cup match at highbury, must've been back in about 1983. What a player and a nice bloke too.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:50 pm 
I remember this goal more than any other. I went up to OT with a mate who didn't have a ticket . When we got there i sold my Arsenal end ticket and bought two tickets off a tout so me and my mate could sit together. I did'nt have a clue where the tickets were for so i got the shock of my life when i found myself only yards from Feguson. Rocky scored that wonderful goal , i couldn't help but leap up, i turned and there was Fergi....I remember moaning about the price of the tickets...i wasn't moaning anymore. Rocky Brilliant. And now he has gone. Unbelievable.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 3:01 pm 
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Arsenal raises over £150,000 for Rocastle Trust


Arsenal Football Club bids farewell to its Charity of the Season, the David Rocastle Trust, this week as the Gunners announce the partnership has raised just over £150,000.

The Trust, an initiative founded in memory of the Arsenal legend affectionately known as ‘Rocky’, who lost his battle to cancer in 2001 at the age of just 33, proved a popular cause amongst Arsenal fans who contributed to the season’s partnership in a variety of ways.

The initiative saw many exciting awareness and fund raising events during Arsenal’s final season at Highbury including Arsenal legend, Michael Thomas’ Flora London Marathon run in aid of the trust, football tournaments held in Rocky’s name and proceeds from the Highbury Auction contributing to the final total.

Arsenal’s match against Aston Villa on 1st April was dedicated to ‘Rocky’ and amongst a whole host of fundraising activities, a rousing minute’s applause was held by everyone inside Arsenal Stadium before kick-off. This event was followed up a month later with the Arsenal Charity Ball which hosted legends, including Ian Wright, who paid tribute to David Rocastle and helped raise over £60,000 for good causes including the Charity of the Season.

The charity was established to assist David’s family, support community projects in ‘Rocky’s’ name and assist nominated charities, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Cancer Research UK.

The final chapter in the partnership came earlier this month as Arsenal announced that its indoor sports facility at Hale End in Walthamstow was to be named after David Rocastle, a befitting legacy as 'Rocky' himself came through the youth ranks at Arsenal, alongside players including Michael Thomas and Martin Keown.

Speaking of the partnership and at the opening of the ‘David Rocastle Indoor Centre’ Arsène Wenger said: "David is fondly remembered by everyone at Arsenal as a true professional, and it is nice to have something with us as a daily reminder of what he did for the Club. I'm sure his memory and achievements will be an inspiration to our young players starting their careers just as Rocky did in the Arsenal Academy."

Arsenal looks forward to welcoming its new Charity of the Season partner, the Willow Foundation, as it embarks upon its first season at Emirates Stadium.




Successful year for Rocky's Trust and the profile of the charity has been raised considerably by a year of the club's patronage. Here's hoping they can go from strength to strength. Nice to see Bob Wilson's Willow Foundation take over as the charity of the year and the link with a former player's tragedy continues.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:53 pm 
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Rocky was a rare player having been loved at Arsenal Leeds and Chelsea.
Arsenal have done him proud with the money they have raised for the Trust. I salute you


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 Post subject: Re: Rocastle tribute thread
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:26 am 
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David Rocastle was the most gifted young player that I have ever seen in an Arsenal shirt, a man who lived and breathed even before his death Arsenal Football Club, the type of man who would sign autographs all day long for fans. I was introduced to Arsenal as a kid in 1989 and from then on watched the likes of Adams, Smith and Rocastle plying their trade for Arsenal, I wasnt a glory hunter (as I was called by certain Liverpool fans, I wasnt into football until then) and I wanted so much to be David Rocastle, if he was in the team now at that part of his career then he would be worthy of superstar acclaim. A life cut short far too early and a person well missed by his Family, Friends, Fans and peers.
His memory lives on as long as we keep telling our kids and Grandkids whether they adopt the red and white, claret and blue or any other football colours about a young man called David Rocastle who rose through the ranks at Arsenal and was a true gentleman and true star in our eyes, just as we were told about the Bastin`s and the Charlton`s and the Best`s.

David Rocastle R.I.P a man who will always be in our hearts.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocastle tribute thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:41 pm 
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I never got the opportunity to watch Rocky play so i was wondering if some of you who did see him would compare him to Pires and Hleb, which i think were the most similair players that i have watched play.


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 Post subject: Re: Rocastle tribute thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:19 pm 
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never seen him play until now but he reminds me most of a very aggressive hleb or a cristiano ronaldo without the pointless tricks :)

Some breathtaking play there especially the lob on the first goal. Can someone please send a copy of this video to hleb? :nana:


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 Post subject: Re: Rocastle tribute thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:20 pm 
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Can we have a bit more respect for Rocky's memorial thread please.


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