Dennis Rofe Joins Bournemouth
Wednesday, 20th Jun 2012 10:41
Ex Saints player, coach, half time entertainer and general good guy Dennis Rofe has joined AFC Bournemouth as a coach.
Rofe has joined the Cherries coaching staff after working for the Football League's regional youth developement programme over the past few years and his represents his first real coaching position with a professional club since he left St Mary's in December 2005 after the arrival of George Burley.
Rofe arrived at St Mary's in the summer of 1982 from Chelsea although it was at Leicester City where he played almost 300 games in an eight year spell that he really made his name in the 70's. He joined Saints aged 32 and it was no surprise that with Saints having such a great side at the time that his opportunities where limited and in his two seasons as a player he would start only 18 league games plus 2 as sub, but he was clearly an influence in the dressing room and in 1984 was apointed reserve team coach.
He remained in this position until February 1987 when Chris Nicholl appointed him his first team coach and over the coming years he would be sacked and then return to the club on several occasions.
Rofe was a familiar figure in the Saints dug out, always dressed in short snd polo top whatever the weather, perhaps his fiery temperament keeping him warm and it wasnt uncommon to see him direct his ire at the opposing bench as liverpool's Phil Tompson found out in January 2002, popular amongst the supporters, at one stage in the late 90's he also did a spot at half time where he would go on the pitch with a microphone to gee up the supporters often bursting into song, although with his appointment as first team coach again in March 2001 it was felt that this was inappropriate.
Rofe served in the backroom staff of many Saints managers, Lawrie McMenemy, Chris Nicholl, Dave Merrington, Graeme Souness, Dave Jones, Glenn Hoddle, Stuart Gray, Gordon Strachan, Paul Sturrock, Steve Wigley , Harry Redknapp, even caretaker bosses Dave Bassett & Denis Wise, before being sacked from the club for the last time (or maybe not knowing Dennis) when George Burley arrived in December 2005, ending service for the club that covered most of a 23 year period, and as we can see 11 permanent managers, indeed in his time the only Saints managers he didnt work for where Ian Branfoot and Alan Ball, he survived so many managers leaving and what back then was often the departure of their back room staff as well, that supporters used to joke that Dennis had a little cupboard where he would go and hide till the fuss had died down and he could run back out on to the training pitch as they had forgot to sack him, this was in line with his larger than life image, but also unfair on his coaching abilities as you clearly dont work under so many managers if you dont have something about you.
After leaving the club, Dennis worked commentating on radio and also with Luther Blissett in his summer camps in the Bahamas, but now after almost seven years out of the game he is back in a proper job, how long he lasts at Bournemouth given their Chairman's reputation is another matter, but I hope that he does do well down at the Fitness First Stadium.
Photo: Action Images
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