Today marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of David Rocastle, affectionately known as ‘Rocky.’
In close liaison with his wife, Janet, and children, Melissa, Ryan and Monique, the Arsenal family has come together to not simply mark the anniversary of his death, but to reflect and commit to continue to grow his legacy and educate a new generation of Arsenal fans, staff and players about the player he was and the qualities he embodied.
As part of the commitment, Arsenal in the Community will annually work with seven young people to be guided and mentored via a leadership programme in David Rocastle’s name. Working closely with the young people, we will provide a unique experience to gain valuable life skills, volunteering opportunities and a chance to stand up and be leaders in their own communities. The programme will be delivered drawing on David Rocastle’s characteristics and qualities by which he’s fondly remembered.
As part of the anniversary, the Rocastle family has guest edited the matchday programme. The club gives its sincere thanks to them for guiding this very special edition, which carries Rocky’s name in place of the famous Arsenal masthead. David's son, Ryan, has spoken to a number of former players including Tony Adams, Michael Thomas, Paul Davis and Alan Smith, who recall their cherished memories and recollections of David Rocastle, the player and the man. The programme also carries a heartfelt letter written by Ian Wright to his friend and former team-mate.
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Ian Wright and Bukayo Saka, who today wears the famous number 7 shirt worn by Rocastle between 1984 and 1992, came together in a moving conversation to talk about Rocky to ensure the next generation of players and fans remember who Rocky was, what he was and who he represented.
We will pay tribute to David Rocastle on Saturday, April 3 at our Premier League match against Liverpool, which will also mark the start of the David Rocastle leadership programme.
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