Dennis Rofe was lined up to rejoin his former manager Jimmy Bloomfield at Leicester on the very day David Nish left. Dennis cost about half the £250 000 fee City received. Comparisons between the left-backs, if invidious, were inevitable, but sound judgement saw that wat City had lost in sheer elegance, they’d gained in cherry enthusiasm and whole-hearted vigour. Dennis justifiably become a fixture in City’s number 3 shirt, quick into the tackle and quick to argument the attack, and was unlucky to win only one England U.23 cap.
The dressing room joker among City’s Cockney colony of the mid 70s, he faced his on-field responsibilities with determined seriousness, and took the team captaincy when Frank McLintock arrived. The majority of his small tally of goals remain utterly memorable; a last-minute solo waltz from halfway line clinch a 4-3 away win over Birmingham, a flukey free kick from his own half that floated over QPR’s Phil Parkes, and a pair of hot shots at Swansea, that hit, and almost broke, the same stanchion. Later Dennis unfortunately misjudged the relative promotion potential of Leicester and Chelsea when leaving for Stamford Bridge, but returned to the top flight at The Dell, where he remained as coach until May 1991.
Then joining Bristol Rovers in a similar capacity, he found himself quickly eliminated (for a 14 month stint) to the manager’s role; Dennis also later coached at Stoke City; and in July 1995 returned to Southampton. Way back at the start of his career, he had been converted from an inside-forward to the full-back slot by Orient boss and former wartime City goalkeeper Dick Graham; his Orient debut was as scoring substitute at Eastville in April 1968.
Dennis has later worked in several roles in football, steady being engaged by the EFL, AFC Bournemouth and also been doing football coaching in Bahamas. He has also done media work and could be heard as a match summeriser for BBC Radio 5.
- Full Name: Dennis Rofe,
- Position: Defender, Full-Back,
- Date & Place of Birth: 01.06.1950,
- Birthplace: Epping, Essex,
- Nation: England,
- U.23 Caps, (1) Debut: 1973 v. Czech
- Major League Career:
- 1968-72, Leyton Orient (168/6)
- 1972-80, Leicester City (315/82)
- 1980-82, Chelsea (59/0)
- 1982-84, Southampton (20/0)