The David Rocastle Collection

The man they called Rocky was a knockout

Player Biography
Full name: David Carlyle Rocastle
Date of birth: May 2, 1967
Date of death: March 31, 2001
Clubs played for: Arsenal, Leeds, Manchester City, Chelsea, Norwich (loan), Hull (loan)
Michael Thomas and David Rocastle.
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Michael Thomas and David Rocastle. David Rocastle David Rocastle and Paul Davis celebrate Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal in the League Cup Semi-Final David Rocastle and Paul Merson Arsenal football team in recording studio Arsenal's David Rocastle is tackled by Liverpool's David Burrows David Rocastle against Millwall Rocastle being treated against Millwall Rocastle on stretcher David Rocastle Arsenal v Austria Vienna Arsenal players at Ian Wright's party David Rocastle's minute of silence
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Club Career

A huge favourite with the Highbury faithful, 'Rocky' was one of the 1980s stars who came through the junior ranks at the club under George Graham.

Transferred for more than £5million during his career to clubs including Leeds, Manchester City and Chelsea - big money in those days - but never again hit the heights he achieved in his prime at Arsenal.

Tragically, he died of cancer in March 2001, at the age of just 33.

Club Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1984-92 Arsenal 218 24
1992-93 Leeds 25 2
1993-94 Manchester City 21 2
1994-98 Chelsea 29 0
1997 Norwich (loan) 11 0
1997 Hull (loan) 11 1

International Career

Rocastle won 14 caps during a four year England career, and never finished on the losing side - winning seven and drawing seven. But he was left out of both the 1990 World Cup squad and the squad for Euro 92.

International Career Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1989-92 England 14 0

Key Games

Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal (League Cup semi-final replay, March 4, 1987)

Arguably Rocastle's most memorable performance in an Arsenal shirt. Two previous games had failed to separate the sides, with the scores finishing 2-2 on aggregate. Tottenham went ahead in the replay at White Hart Lane, with Clive Allen scoring his third goal in the tie but, after substitute Ian Allinson pulled a goal back late in the second half, Rocastle sealed a memorable win with a fine winner in injury time.

Poland 0-0 England (World Cup qualifier, October 11, 1999)

Rocastle didn't enjoy the international career his talent warranted, but he played his part in helping to secure England's place at Italia 90 thanks to this battling goalless draw in the Slazki Stadium in Chorzow. Unfortunately for Rocastle, he was then left out of the 22 for the finals.

Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal (First Division, May 26, 1989)

A game no Arsenal fan will ever forget. Needing to win by two clear goals at Anfield to deny Liverpool the title on goal difference, they duly did so courtesy of Michael Thomas' last-gasp goal with virtually the final kick of the season. That strike, added to Alan Smith's first half opener, earned Rocastle his first Championship winners' medal.


Club Competition Year
Arsenal First Division Championship 1988-89, 1990-91
League Cup 1987

Did You Know...?

After being fouled by Alan Hansen during an Arsenal-Liverpool match, the young Rocastle picked himself up, dusted himself down and mockingly asked the ageing defender: "Getting old?"

Six weeks after Rocastle's death in March 2001, his son Ryan was Arsenal's mascot for the FA Cup Final against Liverpool.

April 1st, 2006 was designated 'David Rocastle Day' as part of the season-long celebration of Arsenal's tenure at Highbury before their move to the Emirates. Fans paid tribute to Rocastle before the game by staging a minute's applause and, fittingly, the Gunners then went on to beat Aston Villa 5-0.

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From the back pages

Tottenham 1-2 Arsenal Published: March 5, 1987

League Cup semi-final replay match report

Liverpool v Arsenal Published: May 26, 1989

Title decider match preview

Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal Published: May 27, 1989

Title decider, front page

Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal Published: March 5, 1987

Title decider, back page

Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal Published: May 27, 1989

First Division title decider match report

Poland 0-0 England Published: October 11, 1989

World Cup qualifier preview

Poland 0-0 England Published: October 12, 1989

World Cup qualifier report, back page

Poland 0-0 England Published: October 12, 1989

World Cup qualifier match report

Nicked Published: October 22, 1990

Mass brawl mars Old Trafford clash

Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal Published: October 22, 1990

First Division match report

Leeds Swoop For £2m Rocky Published: July 23, 1992

David Rocastle joins Leeds, back page

The Rocky Hoddle Show Published: August 12, 1994

David Rocastle joins Chelsea, back page

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