Remember who you are, what you are, and who you represent.”
Sometimes, words fall short, but not the quote above.
Any attempt to give a label to the man who is responsible for the above quote is pointless, because sometimes, words cannot justify what we have, or had.
David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle is the epitome of the word ‘legend,’ but that oft-used moniker doesn’t begin to cover the impact the player and man has had on not only our club, but generations of fans.
How does a player become the equivalent of amber? Their story forever encased to enjoy, a yarn passed down to neverending eras of support.
Rocky is held up as the example to all of what we want from a player. He is the barometer for the swashbuckling, brave football we all desire.
He is the gauge for the devotion we want our players to have for the cannon.
He is the level with which we use to judge the man behind the boots, jersey and pitch exertions.
Rocky was cruelly taken from us far too early, and it’s painful to imagine what role he would have with the club today.
Because he would undoubtedly still have ties to Arsenal should he be around today, for his love for Arsenal knew no bounds. He had the skills to pass down to today’s young bucks, he had the sage mentality to make sure lessons were learned, he had the fierce will to win that should be embedded in all professionals. He would have been a fantastic coach.
He is already an ambassador to the club, despite him not being with us in tangible form. We hold Rocky up and embrace him as a symbol of not only the happiest of memories, but of gratitude that such a player graced us with his presence.
There are many fans not lucky enough to have seen him in the first person and what he could do to an opponent. His twinkling feet were a blur, his shifting of direction was subtle and ruthless, leaving defenders with no idea how to stop him other than a petulant kick. Even that was something that he could deal with. The reason? Because he was schooled in The Arsenal Way, and knowing he had his teammates backing him no matter what is one hell of a confidence boost. He never backed down, he never shirked a challenge, he never gave an inch. If he wanted something, he went and got it.
He gave us goosebumps with his exploits, but he also gave us so much more, even today. He’ll always be a hero to us.
He is immortalised as not only a blessed player who adored the crest that adorned his chest, but as a man too – and that speaks volumes. Rocky was the local lad come good, he was the wing wizard who bewitched us all, he was the man who displayed everything we wanted to be.
His famous quote is famous because not only does it sum up the man to a tee – but it is also a fine mantra for your own life. “Remember who you are, what you are, and who you represent.”