|About Roy of the Rovers|
See below for the history of this magazine
Roy of the Rovers first appeared on 11 September 1954, as a weekly feature in the comic magazine Tiger, debuting on the front page of the first issue. After 22 years of continued popularity, the strip was judged successful enough to sustain its own weekly comic, the eponymous Roy of the Rovers, launched on 25 September 1976. The comic ran for 851 issues, until 20 March 1993, and included other football strips and features. At the peak of the comic's success about 450,000 copies were sold each week. There were also hardback annuals and holiday specials featuring a mix of reprinted and original content, and for a brief period, starting in 1986, Roy of the Rovers was serialised in the now defunct Today newspaper. These were all-new strips, focusing largely on the relationship between Roy and his wife Penny, rather than the action on the pitch. Between 1988 and 1993, a Best of Roy of the Rovers monthly comic was published, reprinting older stories.
After first artist Joe Colquhoun departed, he was succeeded first by Paul Trevillion, then by Yvonne Hutton, who illustrated from 1967 to 1974, before David Sque took over in 1975. Despite reportedly not being a football fan, he was responsible for one of the strip's more definitive looks in its early '80s period. He was replaced in 1986 by former 2000 AD artist Mike White, who gave Roy a more muscular look and the strip a more modern feel. Barrie Mitchell took over in 1992, with a style quite similar to White's. A number of artists worked on the monthly comic, such as David Jukes, Sean Longcroft and Garry Marshall, in contrast to the lengthy tenures of the weekly strip's creative team. Tony Harding often illustrated Roy for the Roy of the Rovers annuals and also drew the Roy's Action Replay strip that appeared in All Action Monthly in the late eighties (Fleetway). Mitchell returned in 1997 as the sole artist of the Match of the Day strips for all four years.
Following the closure of the weekly title in 1993, the strip appeared in a relaunched monthly publication in September that year, with grittier storylines intended to attract teen and young adult fans who had read the weekly comic in their youth. Between January 1994 and January 1995, the monthly strips were mirrored by a weekly edition in Shoot magazine, which had in the late 1980s published a parody called Ray of the Rangers.
The comic strip was resurrected in July 1997, printed as short (usually two-page) features in the BBC's monthly Match of the Day magazine. These strips ran until the magazine's demise in May 2001. By then the strip's wholesome tone, often espousing the virtues of fair play and strong moral character, was beginning to seem old-fashioned. The editor of Roy of the Rovers comic, Barrie Tomlinson, has commented that "everyone seemed to be growing up a bit more quickly, and they wanted stories that were more realistic".
Roy of the Rovers.