BT Sport Films remember Arsenal legends David Rocastle and Ian Wright in new documentary


BT Sport will premiere the next instalment in its acclaimed BT Sport Films series, Rocky & Wrighty: From Brockley to the Big Time, on April 1 on BT Sport 1 at 9pm

BT Sport will premiere the next instalment in its acclaimed BT Sport Films series, Rocky & Wrighty: From Brockley to the Big Time, on April 1 on BT Sport 1 at 9pm, with an in-depth look at the extraordinarily separate but intertwined stories of Arsenal legends Ian Wright and David Rocastle.

Premiering the day after the 16-year anniversary of Rocastle’s death in 2001, the film features in-depth interviews with the likes of George Graham, Steve Coppell, David Dein, the Rocastle family, Pat Rice, Perry Groves, Michael Thomas, Tony Adams and Paul Davis. The film examines two of Arsenal Football Club’s most revered players, exploring both players’ different journeys from South London’s Honor Oak Estate to the top-flight of Highbury.

Simon Green, head of BT Sport said: “Rocky & Wrighty: From Brockley to the Big Time is the utterly unique story of how one young prodigy inspired a late bloomer to new heights and the ensuing tragic end to the tale. Our film charts a young David Rocastle’s rapid rise to stardom and its impact on helping Ian Wright to attain legendary status at Arsenal. Through BT Sport Films, BT Sport is committed to bringing sports fans the stories behind the sports, teams, athletes and events that resonate with them.”

The film opens with a look at what life was like for Ian Wright as a young man, who at that time had more or less given up hope of turning pro. Meanwhile David Rocastle is developing into a fine young talent at Arsenal, debuting in 1985 and becoming an instant favourite with the Arsenal faithful. However Wright, out of the blue, gets his break with Steve Coppell’s Palace after impressing while on trial at Dulwich Hamlet. The film continues with a look at Rocastle’s career going from strength to strength, his crowning glory the 1988/89 season which culminates in the dramatic last minute First Division Title win in 1989, and winning Young Player of the Year for that season. That same season Wright makes the most of his move into professional football with Palace firing them to promotion with 33 goals.The following season he hits the big time with his 1990 FA Cup Final exploits and then a prolific top flight campaign in 1990/91.His reward is a move to reigning champions Arsenal, for a club record fee where he joins his childhood mate Rocastle. With Rocastle a regular and back to his best form in midfield, in their first season playing together Wright scores 29 goals.

Wright goes from strength to strength and becomes an Arsenal legend.Rocastle, with a knee injury is sold by Arsenal against his wishes to champions Leeds United for a club record transfer fee. Spells at Manchester City, Chelsea and then overseas in Malaysia follow, but he struggles to recapture the form of his Arsenal pomp. Shortly after retirement he falls ill and he tragically passes away in 2001.

Contributions in the film include:

  • The Rocastle Family - Janet (wife), Melissa, Ryan, Monique (children – all now in 20s), Steve (little brother, five years David’s junior)
  • Ian Wright – talks about the man he met as a child and became teammates with
  • Steve Coppell - The manager who gave Ian Wright his break with Crystal Palace
  • David Dein – Legendary Arsenal vice-chairman who entered the club as Rocastle was breaking through and signed Ian Wright. On record as saying, Rocastle was his favourite
  • Pat Rice - Arsenal Youth Team Coach at the time Rocastle broke through and a legendary former player and Coach with the club
  • Terry Murphy - Former Youth Development Officer at Arsenal and the man who discovered David Rocastle playing for his school team.
  • George Graham – Managed David Rocastle and Ian Wright during his nine year tenure as Arsenal manager. He later sold Rocastle to Leeds in what is said to be one of the hardest decisions of his managerial career.

Other BT Sport Films that have already aired to date include:

  • The Crazy Gang: an in-depth look at the extraordinary story of Wimbledon FC in the 1980s.
  • One Day in May: The Story of The Bradford City Fire: the story of how a fire took so quickly that it consumed the main stand at Bradford City in less than four minutes in 1985
  • Silver Lining: a study in the dynamics of the sporting relationship between Olympians – and husband and wife - Gemma Gibbons and Euan Burton
  • Football Outposts: Arsenal fan, author and ex-EastEnders star Tom Watt embarks on journeys to various British and European football outposts.
  • Cornered: The film follows the story of Johnny Greaves, a 100-fight veteran of the professional boxing game who has won only four fights.