Pat Rice says the fact that David Rocastle remains revered by Arsenal fans makes him “so happy”.
The former England international, who made 277 appearances for the club, passed away 17 years ago this week after losing his battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"He loved the Arsenal with a passion and the supporters loved him. They still do to this day and that makes me so happy."
Rice coached Rocastle as he made his way through the academy, and says he was always destined for the top.
“I was very fortunate to have coached players like Niall Quinn and Paul Merson, Mickey Thomas as well, and all those guys were something else but I will always remember one story,” he said.
“I was annoyed with the youth team once and I brought them all back to Highbury, sat them all down in the away team dressing room and gave them a stern talking to.
“We were having a heated discussion on my part and I remember just saying to all 18 of them there, ‘How many of you are going to make it into the first team?’
“I’ll never forget the response because only one player held their hand up. It was David Rocastle - and boy did he make it into the first team. I’ll never forget that boy.
“He was fantastic. He loved the Arsenal with a passion and the supporters loved him. They still do to this day and that makes me so happy.”
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