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1001 Stories Collection

Roy of the Rovers

1001 Roy Of The Rovers
Added on 13th August 2020

Original author Frank S Pepper
Author and Illustrator Joe Colquhon
First appearance 1954, in Tiger
Reboot publisher Rebellion Publishing

Follow the long and glittering career of Roy Race, star striker for Melchester Rovers.

Story

A comic strip about Roy Race who played for – and later managed - fictional club Melchester Rovers. In the first episode Roy signs for Melchester and he soon becomes its star player. As time went on more dramatic outside football storylines were included and real players, managers and pundits made occasional appearances.

Why we chose it

Roy of the Rovers is the most popular football story in British comics. Football is as popular now as it was in the 1950s and the stories have be rebooted to bring Roy up to date. Football stories in comics and books are loved by many young readers - for many reluctant readers they are their introduction to the joy of reading for pleasure.

Where it came from

Football themed stories were hugely popular in the 1950s. Frank Pepper who created Roy had created another football story, Danny of the Dazzlers and was asked to create a new, realistic story about an ordinary boy joining a club as a junior and making his way up. Roy was intended to be inspirational for young footballers.

Where it went next

The original comic strip ran in Tiger comic from 1954 until 1976 when the character got his own comic which ran until 1995, along with other stories about football like Billy’s Boot and Dexter’s Dozen. From 1995 to 2001 the strip featured in Match of the Day football magazine, with Roy now a manager and his son a footballer.

Annuals were produced from 1958 to 1994 and a number of Melchester Rovers Subbuteo teams were produced in the 1980s and 90s.

The Rebellion reboot tells Roy’s story from the beginning in a series of graphic novels written by Rob Williams and illustrated by Ben Willsher and novels written by Tom Palmer, set in today’s football world and starting with 16 year old Roy wanting to play for Melchester Rovers, his local team, once big but now fallen on hard times.

Associated stories

As part of the twenty first century reboot Rebellion introduced Roy’s younger sister Rocky. In conjunction with The National Literacy Trust and The Football Association Tom Palmer created a live story during the 2019 FIFA Woman’s World Cup which followed Rocky as she cheered on the Lionesses in France. It was followed by a novel, Rocky of the Rovers.

Added on 13th August 2020

Original author Frank S Pepper
Author and Illustrator Joe Colquhon
First appearance 1954, in Tiger
Reboot publisher Rebellion Publishing