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Remembering Rocky: Wright and Saka talk Rocastle’s Arsenal legacy

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rsenal are remembering club legend David Rocastle on the 20th anniversary of his death, creating a leadership course in his memory that will benefit young people from the local community.

‘Rocky’ is regarded as one of the most talented and beloved players in Arsenal history and won two league titles with the club in 1989 and 1991.

Former England midfielder Rocastle – who also played for the likes of Leeds, Manchester City and Chelsea – sadly passed away following a battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in March 2001, aged 33.

In a heartfelt look at his enduring legacy posted to the club’s social media accounts on Wednesday, Gunners icon Ian Wright paid tribute to his childhood friend and former team-mate in conversation with current Arsenal star Bukayo Saka.

“I’ve heard a lot about his talent on the pitch, his technique and the flair he played with, but of course off the pitch as well he seemed like a real inspiration and a real leader and I heard how humble he was,” Saka said.

“I remember when I was younger, we have our dome. The dome is called the David Rocastle Centre, so from the moment I joined Arsenal I already knew who he was.”

Wright added: “That’s how the legacy continues. Everything about him was the fans. The reason why his name is still sung is because of what he meant to the fans, what he meant to the community.

“People think that I just started supporting Arsenal when I got there. He’s the reason why I love Arsenal so much.”

Wright described the day that he made his first league start for Arsenal against Southampton in 1991 as the “best of his life”, with him netting a hat-trick and Rocastle scoring the other goal in a 4-0 rout.

“When he was leaving, I cried for three days,” Wright said. “Because I genuinely thought I was going to be with him for the whole time I was there.


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