It’s a big, big day in the history of the Arsenal with Barca on their way for the Champions league tie but it is also a big day in as much as we must remember the legendary Rocky Rocastle.
Our Highbury hero passed away nine years ago today and on the day we launch the very first podcast we include a tribute to the player who graced the Gunners in his No.7 shirt for 218 appearances before George Graham criminally flogged him to Leeds for £2million.
We’re told Rocky had tears in his eyes after GG told him the board had accepted the offer from Elland Road. That summed up what Arsenal meant to him and indeed what he meant to Arsenal. He scored 24 goals for us and I can’t remember one of them being a tap in…except, of course, the goal in the last minute at Shite Hart lane when we turned over that lot in the semi-final of the League Cup in that ecstatic night back in 1987. And what a tap in it was!
Other goals that spring to mind were the long-range scorcher at Manchester United and the winner against Liverpool in the League Cup at Anfield. Rocky also played a huge part in us winning the title on Merseyside in 1989 and although Smudger and Mickey Thomas get the plaudits for getting the goals that gave us a 2-0 in and the top flight crown, Rocky deserves special mention.
For it was Rocky who won the free-kick that led to Smudger heading home the first. His agent at the time Jerome Anderson, said the day before the Friday night game Rocky had told him: “We’re going to do it, we’re going to win by two clear goals and win the title.”
And when his old mate Ian Wright signed for us and made his league debut at Southampton how fitting that Wrighty should grab a hat-trick and the other scorer that day was a certain Mr D. Rocastle. Poetry.
So, tonight is a night about progress as we look to overcome the might of Barca but it is also a night to keep an eye on the past…and we must sing Rocky’s name loud and proud in memory of this true Arsenal legend. RIP Rocky.
Our inaugural podcast also previews the Barca game, looks at why the club have decided to give over tickets for the hottest game for yonks to so-called ‘friends of football’,  and we carry an exclusive interview with Phil Brown (at least we think it’s him) in which he lifts the lid on the series of run-ins he had with the Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and Cesc Fabregas.

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