THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

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THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby CarterRules on Sat May 08, 2010 1:18 pm

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Got this last week when I went to Waterstone's in Central London. There's a nice foreword by Frank Skinner and the stories are from the 1976/77 and early 1979 eras. In these adventures, Roy tackles football hooliganism, takes on a goal rush challenge, plays in Europe and is about to sign Spanish maestro Paco Diaz. The brilliant colour artwork is provided by David Sque.

I've also heard on the grapevine that Titan Books who've published this have the rights to Action comic, before the ban was imposed on it in late '76.
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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby Red Squirrel on Sat May 08, 2010 3:05 pm

I only remember reading it as part of Shoot magazine and that would have been a bit earlier than 1976/77, certainly earlier than 1979. It's only from having read it that one could appreciate Billy the Fish in Viz.
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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby CarterRules on Sat May 08, 2010 10:19 pm

Red Squirrel wrote:I only remember reading it as part of Shoot magazine and that would have been a bit earlier than 1976/77, certainly earlier than 1979. It's only from having read it that one could appreciate Billy the Fish in Viz.


I know that Roy Of The Rovers was in Tiger comic before getting his own in September 1976. Back then, his adventures were in black & white while Billy's Boots was the only colour strip.

Billy The Fish was a satire on ROTR's escapades, wasn't it? I remember Channel 4 showing the cartoon in the early '90s.
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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby United 45 on Sun May 09, 2010 7:46 am

Yeah, as I remember, Roy was in 'Tiger'. After he got his own comic he continued in 'Tiger' as well, but with a kind of "second unit" doing sub-plot type stories.
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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby CarterRules on Sun May 09, 2010 7:24 pm

anthony wrote:Yeah, as I remember, Roy was in 'Tiger'. After he got his own comic he continued in 'Tiger' as well, but with a kind of "second unit" doing sub-plot type stories.


Never knew that. I actually thought his time ended in Tiger when he got his own comic, although I read somewhere that he still popped up in the Tiger annuals between '76 and '79.

Remember Nipper? He was a Tiger character, a feisty young midfielder for Blackport Rovers. I heard he joined Roy's team in the mid-'80s. I would have loved to read the tiny tiger's exploits with Melchester Rovers. Even interesting would have been if Scottish striker Hot-Shot Hamish joined the Rovers on loan from Premier League side Princes Park.

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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby United 45 on Mon May 10, 2010 7:12 am

I remember 'Nipper' - he lived in a caravan at the docks. Footballers homes have changed a bit since then. I think his strip ended in Tiger in the early 80s, maybe after that he turned up in 'Roy of the Rovers' but it was after my time. There were lots of football teams in those comic strips, but they never played each other!
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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby CarterRules on Mon May 10, 2010 1:26 pm

anthony wrote:I remember 'Nipper' - he lived in a caravan at the docks. Footballers homes have changed a bit since then. I think his strip ended in Tiger in the early 80s, maybe after that he turned up in 'Roy of the Rovers' but it was after my time. There were lots of football teams in those comic strips, but they never played each other!


That's true. Melchester would always play the likes of Liverton United, Everpool, Carford City, Walford (lol), Stanford or Cheldon. My brother would find these names amusing.

I have virtually every single issue of Tiger between November 1980 and January 1985. Nipper's adventures ended in late 1982 in Tiger (could have been early '83), so that would have been when he joined ROTR.

In a monthly newspaper years back, I saw a comics dream team laid out. Billy Dane was in it, as was Nipper in midfield, Roy Race and Hot-Shot Hamish. I think Johnny Dexter (The Hard Man) was in, too.
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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby Eastway on Mon May 10, 2010 11:20 pm

Back in the day (late 70s), despite the lack of any apparent ability in actually partaking in it, I had quite an encyclopedic enthusiasm for the beautiful game. Largely down to collecting the Figurine Panini stickers. I used to know all the first team line-ups and all the grounds, etc.

And this extended to Roy of the Rovers, which I read avidly. I even knew all of the Melchester squad, and actually ran a subbuteo team comprising them!

Well, for about two games, until I gave it up due to lack of interest/talent!

If I remember rightly, the period I followed his stories was also when Roy made the transition from player to player/manager.

Is he still being written? And if so, is he still playing, in a Dennis the Menace style non-ageing kind of way? Or is he a pundit or running a pub? :)
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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby john saunders on Tue May 11, 2010 2:50 pm

Me and my pals read 'Roy of the Rovers' in the late fifties and early sixties and far from being gripped by the adventure we foyund the whole thing laughable! When we compared the way Roy and Blackie behaved compared to the players at our club, Fulham, we had hysterics.For a start they spoke in such a middle-class way "I say Blackie these Portdean chaps are red-hot". Cf Bobby Keetch at training "Get that f**king sprinkler off the pitch c**t!". They always had time for the fans,who all knew them intimately. cf Johnny Haynes shoving autograph hunters out of the way ! The always played with impeccable fairness(unlike their foreign opponents!). cf Graham Leggat's 'dying swan act in the opposing penalty area! Their idea of a night out was a meal in town followed by a night perusing Roy's dad's scrapbook(yes, Roy still lived at home!). cf Haynes and Keetch rolling out of some tart's Chelsea flat at 4 in the morning! As for the end of season tour they were always either captured by brigands or discovered brilliant football teams in tiny villages who they only ever beat 2-1! Sometimes the brigands were brilliant footballers themselves! It's funny! As far as I know this never happened to Fulham on tour! Having said all this, I reckon it lost it's 'magic' when it got all realistic giving Roy a wife and family. Kids in the Seventies and Eighties could have found nohing to laugh about!
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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby Messenger Of The Gods on Tue May 11, 2010 9:16 pm

CarterRules wrote:I have virtually every single issue of Tiger between November 1980 and January 1985. Nipper's adventures ended in late 1982 in Tiger (could have been early '83), so that would have been when he joined ROTR.


I used to get Tiger every week too, had almost every copy between June 1979 and sometime around April 1985 when it merged with Eagle, and continued to buy it until the Tiger name disappeared from the cover for good in the summer of 1986. My mum threw them out sometime in the early 90s however....

It's been mentioned that Nipper lived in a caravan, I think he had a pet mongrel dog as well which under normal circumstances would have been put down at some point as I recall the dog was rather fond of biting/attacking people on a regular basis, and I think he had a motorbike and sidecar combo as a form of transport.

Billy Dane in Billy's Boots - he wasn't interested in a pair of Puma King, Adidas World Cup or Patrick Keegan footy boots at all, he was happy wearing a pair of Dead Shot Keen's boots from the 1930s that magically transformed Billy into a prolific goalscorer. It always puzzled me that when I read Tiger for the time he was in it, he never aged (he seemed to be permanently about 13/14), I don't know whatever happened to his parents (they never got mentioned) as he lived with his gran all the time and I don't recall him ever taking an interest in girls or music, nor did he ever experiment with cigs, booze or drugs. Billy Dane - The DSS Years would have been an interesting comic strip to read if ever such thing was written!

My favourite story in Tiger was Skid Solo, but it was a few years later after I stopped reading it that I realised that there were some odd things going on there - like the fact he became multiple F1 World Champion despite having a back up crew of just two people who designed and built his car and engine on a microscopic budget. And I don't believe that Skid was his real name either (for all I know he might have been related to Sal Solo, the bald headed lead singer from 80s one hit wonders Classix Nouveaux...)! I recall that there were some dark stories in Skid Solo, one involving a close friend getting killed in a race that forces Skid to temporarily retire from racing, and the story which brought Skid Solo to an end where he raced a turbocharged F1 car for the first time that was unsafe, then has a massive crash in it which leaves him horrendously disfigured and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Getting back to Roy of the Rovers, I haven't seen the 70s book yet but have read bits of the 80s book - my favourite bit in that is a story from 1981 where someone who claims to be "Roys' biggest fan" turns up causing trouble (he's wearing a bobble hat and a t-shirt with "I'm Roy's biggest fan" on it) - he turns up with a loudhailer in one scene and puts every one off, then Roy dives into the crowd and drags out the guy onto the pitch and has him arrested. It's the dialogue in the story which I find more amusing! Also around 82-83 you could actually buy Melchester Rovers replica shirts in sports shops, Gola produced replicas for children and there were one or two kids at school who had them.
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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby CarterRules on Tue May 11, 2010 11:29 pm

Roy's comic came to an end in 1993 when he was paralysed after a helicopter crash. His adventures continued in another publication with him managing AC Monza in Italy, only to face tragedy once more when his wife Penny was killed in a car crash. I guess that signalled the end of an era.

One character who deserves to get his stories reprinted by Titan Books is Blake Edmonds who appeared in Tiger strip Death Wish. He was a stuntman / troubleshooter who wore a mask after a horrific accident. It would be great if his adventures were done in 100% colour. :thumbup:
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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby United 45 on Thu May 13, 2010 8:29 am

Messenger Of The Gods wrote:It's been mentioned that Nipper lived in a caravan, I think he had a pet mongrel dog as well which under normal circumstances would have been put down at some point as I recall the dog was rather fond of biting/attacking people on a regular basis, and I think he had a motorbike and sidecar combo as a form of transport.


I'm sure the dog used to ride in the sidecar without a harness or a crash helmet. :o
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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby Messenger Of The Gods on Thu May 13, 2010 11:22 am

I remember one Nipper storyline around 80/81 where he signed up with some shady looking agent who got him a big country house, Nipper decides to throw a New Years Eve party at the house and I think he invited the whole world to it, including players from Blackport's deadly rivals who they'd be playing a week later (Burndean I think it was). The party was a bit of a disaster as part of the house fell down or something and injured some of the Burndean players. News filtered through about the party which led to a hostile atmosphere at the game a week later, I think fights were breaking out and a lot of bottle throwing between the two sets of fans were going on in that storyline! Even one or two players took it upon themselves to wind up opposition fans!

Also I remember Hot Shot Hamish where the ground he played at for Princes Park burned down during one summer, it looked like a typical lower league ground from the 70s/80s. Then the team went on a summer tour of Japan and when they returned to Scotland, a brand new stadium the size of something like the Nou Camp or the Azteca miraculously appeared, that must have been built in the space of about 3 weeks! :o
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Re: THE BEST OF ROY OF THE ROVERS (1970s)

Postby United 45 on Fri May 14, 2010 10:13 pm

That must have been around the time he made the pop record as well?

I remember when someone phoney came over from Australia pretending to be Nippers cousin. One summer Nipper signed up to play for a cricket team that turned out to be a load of kids & another summer he flew out to play in the NASL.
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