R.I.P Rocky - A Karen Rocastle Interview

March 31st arrives again, can you believe that 12 months has past since we had the Seventh anniversary and the “Make Some Noise” tribute for our Arsenal legend who was so tragically struck down by Lymphoma, a blood cancer of the glands at the age of 33. I refer of course to Rocky. PGL and FTK hope that you enjoy this tribute and take the time to watch and listen to the media clips.
For me the use of the term legend is too easily used. Literally the word Legenda comes from the latin “to be read” When applied to a human being, it is the tales that are passed from person to person that tell of the incredible feats achieved by that ledgendary person. The use in relation to Arsenal footballers, is someone that will always be talked of from generation of fans to the next. A true Icon, a player whose achievements on the field will be remembered by many and celebrated either through anniversaries or dedications. David Carlyle Rocastle, known as Rocky to his friends, fans and family is one such Gunner who earned the term legend.
Here at Arsenalinsider, we intend to remember David Rocky Rocastle every March 31st, but not just with a few passing words. A legend such as our Rocky deserves more than two lines. More than the odd memory. Rocky was a living Gunner.  We will play our part in making sure that the Legend that is Rocky Rocastle will live on.  Rocky was Arsenal, to coin the cliche, if you cut him, he would bleed Red and White. He disliked the Tottenham, and nothing delighted him more than to score goals against them. His goal that sent Arsenal through  to the 1987 Littlewoods Cup (League Cup) final was a classic…
Two matches had failed to separate the North London rivals. The scum had taken a 1 -nil lead in the first leg at highbury through Clive Allen Tottenham had scored as usual. The second leg saw Allen again torment the Gunners and have a 2-nil on aggregate advantage. It was said that the Arsenal dressing room was fired up by the Scum PA announcer, who had informed the home fans at White Hart Lane how to obtain tickets for the Wembley final, Viv Anderson and Niall Quinn silenced them to give the Gunners a 2-1 victory and earn us a replay.
The final and third match was at White Hart lane. Clive Allen had again put the scum in front and all seemed at last to be going the scum’s way against this young Arsenal team, with talisman Charlie Nicholas leaving the field through injury. Sub Ian Allinson gave the Gunners hope when he ran in  and latched onto a long ball from Paul Davis and released a shot which beat Ray Clemence at his near post. With only seconds remaining after almost 300 minutes of football. David O’Leary launched a long ball forward which was knocked down by Quinn into the path of sub Allinson on the left. His shot ricocheted off a scum defender into the path of Rocky near the penalty spot.
He controlled the ball with a sublime first touch of his right foot, to take the ball away towards his left to create an angle, and then with a blinding turn of pace took two strides and struck the ball sweet and low as the Tottenham defender slid in to block. The ball disappeared under Clemence, into the net. Queue outrageous Gooner celebrations and the scum support rose en masse and emptied the stadium in what seemed like seconds… Arsenal went on to win the cup by beating Liverpool at Wembley.
Arsenalinsider is proud to present a touching interview with Rocky’s sister Karen Rocastle…
FTK: It is now eight years since Rocky passed on. Last year was a
special commemoration.  How do you feel about Arsenal fan groups wanting to make sure that his memory is never allowed to be forgotten?
Karen: 8 years and it still feels like yesterday, they say that time is a  great healer but when you lose someone so close to you this isn’t the case, the worse thing is having to look into my mothers eyes, I would do anything to take the pain away that I see everyday…. 
The groups that Dave’s Arsenal family have formed in his memory are overwhelming, the tributes that are left for him are truly insprational and it is a great honour to read the tributes that are always filled with lovely positive memories that they have of him.

FTK: What has happened to The David Rocastle Trust? Are there plans for any other charitable organisations to have Rocky’s name associated with them?
Karen: I am not entirely sure what happened to Dave’s trust as his wife took care of this, I am sure that some of the trust was donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital which was a good cause as Dave used to love visiting the sick children in hospital, I remember him saying it was worth every minute just to see the childrens smile on their faces when he walked into visit.
In relation to other charity organisations Aron Lazarus and Marc Levy organised a fitting tribute to Dave on his 7th Anniversary where they raised money for the charity Treehouse children with Autism, I have since been contacted by Ben Roberts who is trying to organise a charity cricket match to raise money for Non Hodgkins, also Darren Giddings who is a survivor of Non Hodgkins who would also like to organise something for charity both who are avid Arsenal supporters
FTK: The ‘Rocky’ song is still sung proudly from the stands by the Arsenal faithful, a mark of how much impact David made on the collective spirit of the fans and  his name is always tagged with the word ‘hero’, what was it in his personality that made  him such a fan favourite?
Karen: Wow this one’s a hard one as to me Dave was Dave lol….my big brother who no matter what, always had time for me and the rest of his family. I believe this is why he was so highly thought of by his fans because he would always make time to stop for a chat sign autographs and take pictures, his career at Arsenal was truly the best for him, his Arsenal family always showed their love for him and he gave this back to them with the passion he played with on the pitch. Oh and not forgetting his contagious smile ;0)
FTK: Is there a particular game or moment that sums up Rocky for you?
Karen: Its got to be Semi Final Tottenham Vs Arsenal – 87
FTK: How do the family deal with being recognised? How do you deal with your privacy being invaded at this time of year?
Karen:  Our family do not class it as being invaded we are truly honoured that people still remember Dave 8 years on, and are still filled with positive memories they have of him, this helps to keep his memory alive.
FTK: Do any of Rocky?s ex team mates from the Arsenal ever keep in touch, and can you say which o nes?
Karen: My younger brother is in touch with Michael Thomas and I’m sure most of them keep in contact with Dave’s wife and kids.
FTK: Are you able to say what do you think David would have made of the current Arsenal side?
Karen: I’m sure he would think that the team are extremely talented but concede too many goals…..
FTK : Good shout Karen! Do Arsenal Football Club keep in touch, many fans were appalled at the lack of coverage given to last years anniversary and intend to try and sing Rocky?s name again for a minute at the Manchester City game on Saturday, could the club do more, and what would you like to see the club do?
Karen: I believe that the club do keep in touch with his wife and children, there are a few groups on facebook that are requesting that Arsenal should build a statue in memory of Dave and also it has been suggested that Arsenal should retire the number 7 shirt in honour of Dave…. would be good to see either of the two done.
On behalf of all Gooners the world over, I would like to thank you for taking the time to share some of your experiences and memories. We all will continue to make sure that generation after generation of Arsenal fans will always be reminded what Rocky meant to those who were lucky enough to have seen him play for our great Club.
Fabregas the King.

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