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'Roy of the Rovers' Annual

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Football-themed stories were a staple of British comics for boys from the 1950s onwards, and Roy of the Rovers was the most popular. [1] The strip usually saw Rovers competing for honours at the top of the English and European game, although in some years the storylines would see the club struggle for form, including a relegation from the First Division in the early 1980s. As well as dealing in on-pitch action, Roy of the Rovers featured high drama off the pitch, with kidnapping storylines a recurring feature of its early decades. From the 1970s onwards, stories included a shooting, a terrorist atrocity, and several celebrity guest appearances. Rovers played in a fictional universe made up of invented teams; however, real-life players including Emlyn Hughes, Bob Wilson and Malcolm Macdonald made appearances in the strip, as did former England manager Alf Ramsey. In 2016, the rights to Roy of the Rovers and the rest of the Fleetway comics library were acquired by Rebellion Developments, [17] [18] who subsequently rebooted the series to follow the modern-day adventures of Roy as a teenager. A series of hardcover graphic novels began publication in 2018, written by Rob Williams and drawn by Ben Willsher, running in parallel with a series of novels for younger readers written by Tom Palmer with illustrations by Lisa Henke. [19] Plot [ edit ] The first ever appearance of a youthful Roy Race Find sources: "Roy of the Rovers"comic– news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR ( December 2011) ( Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The first Roy of the Rovers annual was published in 1957 (cover-dated 1958), demonstrating the character’s massive popularity. In February 1964, however, the series lost its permanent spot on the cover of Tiger, alternating thereafter with other features. In 1985, following the closure of Tiger, Hot Shot Hamish moved over to Roy of the Rovers, and immediately introduced the characters of Hamish and Mouse to each other. Shortly afterwards, Mouse was transferred from Tottenford Rovers to join Hamish at Scottish club Princes Park, and the strip was renamed Hot Shot Hamish and Mighty Mouse. It was later shortened to Hot Shot Hamish and Mouse, and finally Hamish and Mouse. The series ran continuously from 1985 to 1990, with a brief break that year before returning. The final new stories were published in January 1992, with the remaining issues until Roy of the Rovers' cancellation taking the form of reprints.Roy also appeared in a short-lived daily strip in Today in 1986, drawn by Kim Raymond, and a longer-lived one in the Daily Star, which was drawn by Yvonne Hutton until her death at the end of 1991, and by Mike Western for four years after that. This article was in part first published in episodic form on the Boys’ Adventure Blog and content from those articles by Richard Sheaf is reproduced here with permission

In the original strip, the club was only relegated to the old Division Two once, and made a hasty return the following year. In the years between the end of the 1990s monthly comic and the Match of the Day strips, the club was relegated from the Premiership to the new Division One, spending two seasons there before being promoted under Roy's guidance. Collectors Corner – Memorabilia", Roy of the Rovers.com, archived from the original on 15 July 2011 , retrieved 16 June 2010 Roy of the Rovers stories– Monthly Magazine", Roy of the Rovers.com, archived from the original on 9 December 2009 , retrieved 22 June 2010The magazine was relaunched as a monthly in September 1993, but finally closed in March 1995, after a further 19issues. Gordon Stewart would later be rebooted to appear as Melchester Rovers' goalkeeper in the 2018 Roy of the Rovers revival. Roy of the Rovers is a British comic strip about the life and times of a fictional footballer and later manager named Roy Race, who played for Melchester Rovers. The strip first appeared in the Tiger in 1954, before giving its name to a weekly (and later monthly) comic, published by IPC and Fleetway from 1976 until 1995, in which it was the main feature. But like the annuals and holiday specials, they’re quite well-known, so we’re going to gloss over those, and instead draw your attention to these titles… The Autobiographies

Dawkes, Phil (21 January 2021). "Roy of the Rovers: How has Melchester striker stayed relevant 67 years on?". BBC . Retrieved 25 March 2022.The monthly stated that the Roy whose career ended in 1993 had been born in 1954 (the year the strip first appeared), and had debuted, aged 16, in the Rovers' European Cup Final win of 1970 (which had actually taken place in 1969, not 1970, in the strip). All stories before then were implied to have featured his father, also named Roy. Originally these were two different humorous strips, both written by Fred Baker and drawn by Julio Schiaffino. [5]

Another of the comic's more popular strips (after the strip ended in 1985, it was revived after just three months), this strip told the story of teenaged Tommy Barnes. Initially it centered on his bid to be allowed to form a soccer team at rugby union-playing Crowhurst School. Later, Tommy and his pal Ginger Collins formed Barnes United FC and played local league football. Two rugby playing pupils at Crowhurst, football hating Waller and Swate, became Barnes's sworn enemies after first resenting Barnes starting a football team, then, after Crowhurst switched to playing Association Football and finding they actually enjoyed the game, being ousted from playing the new sport for the school team by Barnes. The pair repeatedly used any means possible to sabotage their efforts and cause trouble for Barnes and Barnes United F.C. Designed with a comic strip opening each chapter, the text takes the reader through Roy’s many incarnations and gets the inside stories from the editors, illustrators and story creators who worked on the comic through the years. It also has memories and contributions from sports celebrities involved in the comic, such as Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker. McAlpine, Duncan (1996), Comic Book Price Guide 1996/97 Edition, Titan Books, ISBN 978-1-85286-675-4Mighty Mouse, a Roy of the Rovers strip that began in 1979, featured Kevin "Mighty" Mouse, a successful, skilful Division One player despite being a morbidly obese, short, bespectacled medical student. Hot Shot Hamish, meanwhile, followed gentle Hebridean giant Hamish Balfour, the man with the most powerful shot in the world, and began its days in Scorcher and SCORE, before that title was merged into Tiger. The Daily Mail describes Steven Gerard as a modern Roy and commissions special art to illustrate their story ROK Comics launched its digital re-publication of “ Roy of the Rovers, England Manager” in 2008 to incredible press response, but the project foundered. a b "Behind the Scenes – The Writers", Roy of the Rovers.com, archived from the original on 14 December 2010 , retrieved 21 June 2010 Tomlinson, Alan; Young, Christopher (2000), "Golden Boys and Golden Memories: Fiction, Ideology, and Reality in Roy of the Rovers and the Death of the Hero", in Jones, Dudley; Watkins, Tony (eds.), A Necessary Fantasy?: the Heroic Figure in Children's Popular Culture: Vol 18, Garland Publishing, pp.177–206, ISBN 978-0-8153-1844-6

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