Monday, March 31, 2008

David Rocastle Tribute (1967-2001)

Seven years ago today we lost an Arsenal legend, and a true legend of a man, David "Rocky" Rocastle. Now on the seventh anniversary of his passing, people are trying to make a difference for kids in his memory. There is a David Rocastle facebook group commemorating his life which I encourage everyone with a facebook page to join. The founders of the facebook group also decided to start their own website which has words from his family members and close friends about Rocky. They are in association with Arseshirts, who have produced three limited edition Rocky shirts and the proceeds will go to TreeHouse, which is Arsenal's charity for this season. This is a very noble cause and I encourage anyone who remembers David Rocastle to order one of these shirts or at least visit the website and facebook group.

David was born on May 2nd, 1967. He left school in 1983 and went straight into the schoolboy ranks at Arsenal, making his full debut in 1985 against Newcastle. He won his first winner's medal in 1987 after Arsenal beat Liverpool to win the League Cup.

David also won the league twice with Arsenal, and the first was in dramatic fashion. Who can forget about Anfield '89? We needed to win by two goals to win the league on goal difference at Liverpool and Alan Smith and Michael Thomas scored to give us the title. He was also a part of the title winning side in 1990-1991 even though he only played in 18 games due to a knee injury.

As far as internationals go, Rocky did that too, playing for England 14 times over the course of his career.

Tragedy struck David though in February 2001 when he contracted non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is an extremely serious form of cancer that attacks the body's immune system. He was administered chemotherapy but the cancer did not recede, despite hopes it would do so. He died on March 31, 2001, at age 33.

In a tribute to Rocky, Arsenal made April 1st, 2006, "David Rocastle Day" where they had a minutes applause for him before the match. Arsenal won the match against Villa 5-0. Arsenal have also named an indoor youth facility after Rocky to honor him.

David was a great player and a great man, and will always be an Arsenal legend. Please visit the following links and help us honor David "Rocky" Rocastle.

Rocastle Links:

BBC Obituary for David

Rocky 7 Day Official Site

Rocky's Career Stats

Rocky Tribute Video

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