Dennis Rofe

Leicester City In 100 Players: Dennis Rofe

England Under-23s international Dennis Rofe made 324 appearances, with none as a substitute, for Leicester City between 1972 and 1980.
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A wholehearted, committed and enthusiastic player, he was a speedy attacking left full-back, who was an excellent tackler. Born in Epping, Dennis, who joined Orient (now Leyton Orient) as an associate schoolboy, won the Third Division title in 1970 under Orient’s manager, Jimmy Bloomfield.

He was an ever-present the following season in the second tier and reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 1972, beating Bloomfield’s Leicester City in the process. In August 1972, a day after City signed Frank Worthington, Dennis followed Bloomfield to Filbert Street for a transfer fee of £112,000.

This was a British record fee for a full-back until his new club sold David Nish to Derby County for £250,000 24 hours later. Dennis hardly missed a game for the next seven-and-a-half years. During that time, he scored six goals, two of which, against Birmingham City and QPR, were memorably spectacular. 

In his first season at Filbert Street, Dennis was selected for an FA XI to play Gibraltar and at the end of the season, he went on the England Under-23s tour to Holland, Denmark and Czechoslovakia. 

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Dennis Rofe
Dennis Rofe

Rofe made 324 appearances for the Club between 1972 and 1980.

In his five years playing under Bloomfield at Filbert Street, there were times when City were one of the best and most attractive footballing sides in England. This was certainly true in the 1973/74 run to the FA Cup last-four.

Despite Leicester finishing the season in a creditable mid-table position, Bloomfield resigned in May 1977. He was replaced by Frank McLintock, whose season in charge resulted in relegation. 

Jock Wallace, who succeeded McLintock in June 1978, gave the captaincy to Dennis, looking to him to guide the youngsters he was introducing to the team like Gary Lineker, Andy Peake and Larry May. 

However, in February 1980, Dennis transferred to promotion rivals Chelsea. At the end of the season, the Foxes were promoted as champions while Chelsea missed promotion on goal difference. 

After two years at Stamford Bridge, Dennis spent two more years at First Division side Southampton, before coaching their reserve team and then their first team. He had three spells with the Saints, totalling 18 years, which included the 2003 FA Cup Final. 

Dennis also managed Bristol Rovers, worked for the Football League and, in 2012, coached at Bournemouth, his last full-time job in football. 

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