For Rocky – Fifteen years on

I wrote the following on the 10th anniversary of David Rocastle’s passing.
It was an honour as a Wigan Athletic fan to be at the final competitive game at Highbury. It was also an honour – some years earlier – to have watched David Rocastle playing at the height of his game.

It was the final game and the final celebrations at Highbury. It was a fitting tribute as the sublime Thierry Henry claimed a hat-trick and Arsenal pipped their rivals Tottenham Hotspur to the fourth Champions League place. But the two most poignant moments were (firstly) when the whole ground – including the Wigan fans – stood to applaud Dennis Bergkamp’s arrival on the pitch. Bergkamp in this modern day age of the “bling bling” mercenary footballer had played 11 years for the club. And then after the game as the past Arsenal players walked around the perimeter, the ground went up as one for a legend that was taken from us too soon but was undoubtedly watching over the parade: “Oh Rocky, Rocky, Rocky, Rocky, Rocky Rocastle”. Bergkamp and Rocastle are both class acts that we can all identify with. Just decent working class lads that played the game we love. They are few and far between nowadays- from another age. A bit like Highbury. In fact a bit like football itself.

A fine tribute on the official Arsenal website…-a-true-arsenal-legend


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