“To Rocky” – by Ian Wright


twenty years, bro. In a practice, I’ve been dreading the build up to it. You’re always on my judgment but I try to not think of that specific era. You know what I want?

Everyone knows how close we were. Both Brockley sons, you were up in Turnham, I was just down the road. We would interpret one another in clas despite you being younger. Football entailed everything to you man. Do you recollect when you dragged a assortment of us to this football tournament literally minutes before it was due to start? We overpowered everyone! A assortment of the americans and our copulate who represented rugby. Everyone had parents and allies, we just had each other. It was always only us.

At 15, you were already operating at a totally different level. You always carried yourself with a level of professionalism we couldn’t understand. You would leave Brockley to go all the way to Stoke Newington, only to get are caught up by Paul Davis so you could go training. On your channel, you would stop by the estate and “ve been told”” I don’t maintenance how you make love, you have to get into the game .”

I remember the irritation in your face detailing these training sessions with substitutes and hearing actors you thought were not on my position. I recollect the association said you weren’t allowed to play on the possession or park anymore. You did regardless because everyone knew the main rule was to not touch or attack you. That was the existing legislation! We were playing with DAVID ROCASTLE bro! You were our superstar. You had reached it in our eyes.

You saw something in me I couldn’t even see in myself. It got to get a part where I stopped turning up to those periods because I knew you would be there, hounding me with the same message. If I’m being honest, I was humiliated. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become someone that young participates and mothers speak to and ask for advice. It’s not something I take lightly. I think about what you would have said to them, what you said to me, the things you told me to improve. As much as the game has changed, it’s still the same.

We weren’t simply friends, we were brethren. You would come to watch me play for Palace religiously. And then Arsenal happened. Think about how many times we behaved out being in the same team one day. Wright to Rocastle. Rocastle back to Wright. Two Brockley boys.

That night before our first tournament as teammates, we must have spoken for over five hours. Even in that moment where I was still disbelieving myself, you were reassuring me as ever and telling me how you would clear everyone work to get me my goals so I could settle in.

I’ll never forget that moment when you told me you had been sold to Leeds. Everything froze. I didn’t know how to feel and I still don’t like believe so. There was no Arsenal without you. I took it personally. I participated because of you. I went into those offices challenging answers.

We had come too far. I couldn’t stop thinking of that instant against Leicester when I scored my first point and saw you, Paul Davis, Michael Thomas and Kevin Campbell coming towards me.

I still think about our festivities together with our families. The scenes serve as remembers of those precious moments. I’m Uncle Ian now bro, and just know that I’ve got them. Without neglect, the first ask I get on Father’s day is from Mel. You would be so proud of Ryan, Monique, Mel and Janet. They’ve wielded so closely with the sorority to make sure your legacy lives on.

We’ve had a crazy year( long narrative) but I can’t wait to hear our devotees sing your identify residence and away.

Love you always my brother,


As part of the anniversary, David’s son, Ryan has guest revised the matchday programme. The organization renders its sincere thanks to Ryan and his family who have steered this very special edition which carries Rocky’s name in place of the prominent Arsenal masthead. Ryan has spoken to a number of onetime participates including Tony Adams, Michael Thomas, Paul Davis and Alan Smith who recall their cherished recalls and impressions of David Rocastle, the musician and the man. The programme also includes this sincere symbol written by Ian Wright to his friend and former crew mate.

Purchase here- arsn.al/ yB6GraR

As a further commitment, Arsenal in the Community will yearly work with seven young people to be leader and mentored via a leadership program in David Rocastle’s refer. Working closely with the young people, we will provide a unique know to gain valuable man abilities, volunteering opportunities and a chance to stand up and be supervisors in their own communities. The curriculum will be delivered drawing on David Rocastle’s characteristics and aspects by which he’s fondly remembered.

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