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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Real Roy of the Rovers Stuff

Real Roy of the Rovers Stuff
By Barrie Tomlinson

I finished working on childrenʼs comics in the early 1990ʼs. Thatʼs when titles such as Roy of the Rovers and Eagle were taken away from me and once again produced ʻin-houseʼ.

Most fortunately for me, at about the same time, I was asked by the Daily Mirror to produce a six-days-a-week football strip. I wrote and produced the 'Scorer' story for that newspaper for 22 years, thatʼs over 6,000 episodes.

By the time 'Scorer' finished in 2011, I had moved to Lincolnshire. I was asked to be editor of a village magazine and I was delighted to produce a monthly publication which looked professional and was very successful. After a couple of years working on the magazine, I had a stroke and had to give up editing.

I tell all this to explain how busy I was until quite recently. I had no time to write a book. In the past few years, I have had time and the result is Real Roy of the Rovers Stuff which is now on sale.

My book tells the full story of how I made Roy of the Rovers the most famous footballer in Britain. There are also lots of photographs of Roy with famous people and quotes from the newspaper headlines of the day.

I started as a sub editor on Lion in 1961, then moved to Tiger and eventually became editor of Tiger, which of course starred 'Roy of the Rovers' as its main story. I later became group editor and launched Roy into his own comic in 1976.

In the new book, you can find out who thought of the name ʻRoy of the Roversʼ; why Sir Alf Ramsey didnʼt chose Roy for the 1966 England World Cup squad; what happened when Roy was manager of England; what Parliament didnʼt like about Royʼs new playing strip; the real-life manager who tried to sign Roy and the special Euro 96 stamps which featured Roy but were never issued.

I hope people like the book and finding out how Royʼs life was planned. I am always delighted with the amount of interest that is shown in the work we did on the comics. I still get lots of letters and emails asking about my titles. It is very gratifying that there are websites devoted to some of the comics I worked on. Folk still seem very interested in what we did and the book should provide lots of information for comics fans.

Being on sale at this time, the book will make a great Christmas present for all those people who used to be readers of Tiger and Roy of the Rovers.

Real Roy of the Rovers Stuff! Roy's Unofficial True Story is published by Pitch Publishing, £14.99. Available from Amazon.


  1. Always a delight to learn more about the later lives of workmates from earlier years! Now what became of the Anti-Trombone League, Barrie?

    Keith Chapman

  2. Good to hear from you, Keith. I have happy memories of our lunches with Doug
    in the Fleetway canteen. The Anti-trombone League? You'll have to wait until
    you read my next book. It's all in there!
    Barrie Tomlinson