David Rocastle made his name at Arsenal, coming through the youth
team and making himself a first team regular in the side that won the
Milk Cup in 1987 (where Rocky's goal against Spurs in the semi proved
crucial), and then the League Championship in 1989. With 14 caps for
England under his belt, he had a slight blip in form in 1990, but was
back in the side by the time George Graham's squad won their second
title in 1991, but his talent and ability did not always seem to be
enough for the dour Graham.
When Howard Wilkinson brought him to Leeds in the close season
after Leeds had won the Championship in 1992, he was at first seen as
a replacement for veteran Gordon Strachan. Unfortunately for Rocastle,
Strachan's days at Leeds were far from over, and a large number of his
appearances for Leeds were as a substitute. Rocastle joined at a
strange time for Leeds: the team were Champions, but never quite got
into gear the following season, and were permanently struggling.
Rocky only made 34 appearances for Leeds, with 2 goals - against Chelsea
and Manchester City, 2 clubs he would subsequently play for.
His final appearance for Leeds was a sub against his beloved
Arsenal in December 1993 - he moved on for a brief spell at Maine Road
before returning to the capital with Chelsea. Beset by injuries, and
as a result struggling for form, he had loan spells with Norwich, Hull
and also played out in Malaysia before being diagnosed with cancer in
February 2001. He died on March 31 2001 at the age of 33.
Asa Hjelm says: I met Dave in Enkping, Sweden, 1988. That day I
found a real friend! He always had a big smile and could always make
ME smile when things were rough... We stayed in contact for four
years. Whenever I came to London or he to Sweden we met to catch up
the latest... I cannot express my feelings when I read my newspaper
that morning in March. I feel sorry for his wife and especially his
children. Dave often told me about his own father who passed away when
Dave was young. I am glad that I met him and really got to know
him. He was a true friend and I will never forget him!
Alex Wilkes says: I just remember his playing days and it was a
real shock when I found out that he had died. I feel really sorry for
his family and friends.
Mansi says: his daughter was my best frenz friend in malaysia.
Dean Barrett says: first time i met rocky was at arsenal JVC
training ground with all the other players on a friday morning.Then
every friday onwards became autograph days where i used to go to the
ground religiously,and rocky would talk to you and he would mainly be
with paul davis chris whyte.as being 32 myself it was a shock to see
him fall ill.his shirt is hanging on my wall autograohed and framed so
he will always be remembered.
D Saunders says: I met David back in 1990 at a fellow Arsenal
player's wedding reception and we became really special friends - he
is never far from my thoughts to this day. The pain has gone now D.
Your smile was everlasting and I know you are smiling down at everyone
even now. God bless.
Neil Spofforth says: RIP Rocky
anon says: i really love rocky he was and still is my role model
since the day he died i never wanted to play football but i knew he
would of never wanted that so r.i.p peace david rocastle love u always
Lionel John says: May god bless Rocastle Rest In Peace!
Ashley Hyne says: David Rocastle will always be a true hero in
South London. Here's a story about him that I'll never forget.
Rocastle went to Roger Manwood secondary school and they played Malory
school (who had a fairly decent football team at that stage) one
Saturday. Manwood evidently won 7-0 with Rocastle scoring all the
goals, and it was explained to me that at the end of the match he was
beating players and then dragging the ball back to take them on again.
I went to see his first game for the Arsenal against Newcastle (0-0)
with Carl Leaburn's (Charlton's enigmatic striker) brother.
Afterwards Don Howe said 'David passed when he should have shot, and
shot when he should have passed, but he's a going to be a great
player'. And he was.
Mr X says: David Rocastle was probably one of the best players
Arsenal ever had. He joined them on leaving school in 1983, and three
years later was a regular first team player. He won a league cup and
two league championships before joining Leeds for £2million in
1992. He was at Elland road for 18 months before another
£2million fee took him to Manchester City. He there for less than
a year before Chelsea signed him in a £1.25million deal. Although
he played 28 games in 1994/95 and one game in 1995/96, he remained on
the club's playing staff until June 1998. During the two seasons
before he was on loan at Norwich and later at Hull. He played in
Malaysia for a year before retiring. At international level, he
played 14 times for England and although he never scored a goal he was
never on the losing side.
David Rocastle (1967-2001)
jake says: met rocky a few times and he was a true gent!
Derek Lo says: David ROCKY rocastle FANTASTIC FOOTBALLER with great
vison and skill david had the lot and he should have had more caps a
really great arsenal player wonderful talent sadly missed god bless
THERES ONLY ONE ROCKY