This is of course…..a Manchester United blog. But Ive always reserved the right to talk about other clubs and players as I see fit.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Arsenal and England midfielder David Rocastle. Cut down by injury during the late 1990s, he died at the young age of 33 from the cancer Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Rocastle was a top talent being pivotal to George Graham’s Gooners and collecting two league championship medals, as well as winning fourteen caps for his country. As a kid, Rocastle was always one of those players I most appreciated. A player that didn’t play for my club, but yet one whose skill I could appreciate and laud, without feeling a shred of partisan guilt (a bit like Jack Wilshire now)
I still remember sitting in my room as a youngster watching the 1989 title decider on a little portable telly, where Arsenal had ‘no chance’ of going to Anfield, and stealing the title away from the club I detested the most. Rocastle played his part that night, in what was, and still is, the greatest end to an English league season…with Michael Thomas running through in the most dramatic ‘Fever Pitch’ fashion, winning it with the last kick of the entire season. That disbelief of what football can do is still with me today..I remember it like it was yesterday, even though I was just 12. With Rocastle, I liked that way he ran with the ball. Excellent close control. The modern English midfielder. My favourite United players were Robson and Strachan at that time, so Rocastle always appealed. Injury (and a subsequent loss of form) stopped him from partnering Gazza for the national team at Italia 90, where a good World Cup would probably have exploded his stock just as it did for the weeping Geordie maverick. Rocastle also played for Chelsea, Leeds and City.
I decided to write this short article as a tribute, and so younger MUFC fans who do not remember Rocastle may go and find out about a very good talent that was lost too early..I’m sure Youtube can assist with that. So with a heavy heart I say rest in peace David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle.
Club allegiances mean nothing when it comes to things like this.