roy1

roy

Publication Dates: 25 September 1976 – 20 March 1993
Number of Issues Published: 851 (#1 – #851)
Color: Colour
Dimensions: Magazine size
Paper Stock: Newsprint
Binding: Saddle-stitched
Publishing Format: Was ongoing

Information thanks to the Grand Comics Database

Roy of the Rovers is a British comic strip about the life and times of a fictional footballer 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 magazine, published by IPC and Fleetway from 1976 until 1995, in which it was the main feature.

The weekly strip ran until 1993, following Roy’s playing career until its conclusion after he lost his left foot in a helicopter crash. When the monthly comic was launched later that year the focus switched to Roy’s son Rocky, who also played for Melchester. This publication was short-lived, and folded after only 19 issues. The adventures of the Race family were subsequently featured in the monthly Match of the Day football magazine, in which father and son were reunited as manager and player respectively. These strips began in 1997 and continued until the magazine’s closure in May 2001.

Football-themed stories were a staple of British comics from the 1950s onwards, and Roy of the Rovers was one of the most popular. To keep the strip exciting, Melchester was almost every year either competing for major honours or struggling against relegation to a lower division. The strip followed the structure of the football season, thus there were several months each year when there was no football. By far the most common summer storyline saw Melchester touring a fictional country in an exotic part of the world, often South America, where they would invariably be kidnapped and held to ransom. The average reader probably stayed with the comic for only three or four years, therefore storylines were recycled; during the first ten years of his playing career, Roy was kidnapped at least five times.

The stock media phrase “real ‘Roy of the Rovers’ stuff” is often used by football writers, commentators and fans when describing displays of great skill, or results that go against the odds, in reference to the dramatic storylines that were the strip’s trademark.

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.

Roy was created by the author Frank S. Pepper, who had created the similar strip, Danny of the Dazzlers, but he only wrote four instalments of Roy of the Rovers, because of his commitments to another of his characters, Captain Condor. His role was taken by the strip’s first artist Joe Colquhoun, who used the pen-name “Stewart Colwyn”. He was replaced after four-and-a-half years by Derek Birnage, the editor of Tiger, who had commissioned the strip. In 1960, in an attempt to whip up publicity, it was announced that the footballer Bobby Charlton had taken over as writer, although in reality it was still written by Birnage (who claimed that he did consult with Charlton occasionally for story ideas). The longest-serving writer of the strip was Tom Tully, who began in 1969 on an intermittent basis and then continuously from 1974 until the end of the weekly comic in 1993. Ian Rimmer became the main writer for the strip during the Match of the Day years, until the magazine’s closure in May 2001.

Artists

After 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.

Filmmakers Luke Dormehl and Tom Atkinson, released a documentary called “Roy” in 2008, featuring interviews with some of the key members of the Roy of the Rovers creative team. The film was shown at The End of the Pier International Film Festival in 2009, where it won the prize for Best Documentary Short.

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UPDATE 11-09-2018

154,156-159





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536-539




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540,541,765



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UPDATE 26-05-2018

Bumper Book

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UPDATE 05-05-2018

143-146

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147-150

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152,153,161,162

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163,165-167

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169-172

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173-176

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186,187,442-444

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445-449

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450-454

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455-459

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460,464-467

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468,474-477

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478-482

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483-487

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488-492

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493-497

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498-502

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503-507

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508-512

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851

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Annual 1959

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Annual 1960

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Annual 1962

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Annual 1963

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Annual 1964

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Annual 1965

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Annual 1967

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Annual 1969

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Annual 1970

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Annual 1971

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Annual 1972

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Annual 1973

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Annual 1974

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Annual 1975

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Annual 1978

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Annual 1979

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Annual 1981

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Annual 1983

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Annual 1985

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Annual 1993

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Annual 2000

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Holiday Special 1977

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Holiday Special 1978

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Holiday Special 1979

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Holiday Special 1980

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Holiday Special 1981

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Holiday Special 1983

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Holiday Special 1986

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Holiday Special 1987

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Holiday Special 1989

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Holiday Special 1990

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Holiday Special 1991

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Holiday Special 1993

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Summer Special 1982

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Winter Special 1988

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Winter Special 1989

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Winter Special 1990

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200,209 Both complete replaces the incomplete issues allready on the page

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UPDATE 05-04-2018

Melchester Magic, 469,470



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471-473



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UPDATE 15-03-2018

Annual 1958

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Annual 1961, holiday special 1985


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UPDATE 19-02-2018

372-375




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Monthly 52

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Monthly 53

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UPDATE 08-01-2018

Collection 1 1987

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UPDATE 30-10-2017

292

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UPDATE 29-10-2017

461-463



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UPDATE 25-09-2017

9,10,12,14

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177,178,216,217

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218,219,220,283

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284-287

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288-291

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293-296

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297-300

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301-304

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305,309,310,311

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312-315

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316,318.319,320

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321-324

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325-328

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329-332

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333-336

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337-340

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341-345

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347-351

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352-356

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357-361

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362-366

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367-371

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376-379

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390-393

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394-397

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398,403.404,405

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406-410

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411-415

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416-420

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421-425

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426-430

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431-435

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438-441

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Annual 1980

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Annual 1982

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Annual 1986

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Holiday Special 1984

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UPDATE 14-06-2017

384-389






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399-402,436,437






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UPDATE 01-10-2016

2,27,28,31,76-78

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79,83-88

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89-95

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96-100,105,106

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188,193,198,210,211,214,215

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223,224,235,237,238,240,241

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242-244,247,248,251,252

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268,269, Annual 1991

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Annual 1984

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380-383

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UPDATE 10-02-2016

1,5-7,11,13,15

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17-22

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23,24,26,30,37,39

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41,42,44-47

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48,50-54

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55-60

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61,65,73,75,101,102

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103,104,107-110

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111-117

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118-124

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126-128,131,132,134,135

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136,138-140,221,222

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UPDATE 29-06-2015

16,81,82,125,129,130,133

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137,141,142,151,155,160,164

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168,180,208,267,270-272

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273-280

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281,282,306-308,317,346

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3,4,8,25,29,32,33

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34,35,36,38,40,43,49

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62,63,64,66,67,68,69

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70,71,72,74,80,179,181

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182,183,184,185,189,190,191

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192,194,195,196,197,199,200

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201,202,203,204,205,206,207

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209,211,213,225,226,227,228

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229,230,231,232,233,234,236

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239,245,246,249,250,253,254

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255,256,257,258,259,260

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261,262,263,264,265,266

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Annual 1966,1968,1987

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Annual 1988,1989,1990,1992,1994, Eastern Promise

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88 responses »

  1. Zackster says:

    Snagged these off eBay, might be some double ups. Feel free to add them to above. Hopefully someone can fill in the 1976 gaps- issues 9,10 & 12 needed to compete the set.

    1976
    http://filefactory.com/folder/06531158e5b101da
    or
    https://mega.nz/#F!URMDAQTB!JbJAct0DM0kfFZYjqVQpkA

    1977 (complete)
    http://filefactory.com/folder/0f8ab20bae53555d
    or
    https://mega.nz/#F!ZV8zQBSI!AmYnB5uJBn9oXFF0EKZj2g

    Like

    • boutje777 says:

      Thanks for the links, i will see they wil get in the right place somewhere next week.
      Onfortunately they are all numbers allready on the blog, thanks for the trouble nevertheless.

      Like

  2. Bryan says:

    Had a look through your blog and noticed you were missing the following issues 14,177,178.216-220,283,293,294.376-379 and Holiday Special 1984

    here they are: http://www.filefactory.com/file/r3xgmho68w3/new%20roy.rar

    Like

  3. Bryan says:

    You’re welcome. I’ve taken so much from this blog, I thought it was time to give something back.

    Like

    • Zackster says:

      Thanks Bryan. I gather the entire run must be out there somewhere, but near impossible to find (ditto for Tiger). I’ve managed to get hold of the print versions of the missing 1976 issues, and have the entire run in print from 1979-1989 but it would take a lifetime to scan them all. I will scan the missing ’76 issues and post here at some stage though.

      Like

      • Bryan says:

        Finding them slowly, but anything post-1986 seems not to exist online. The hunt continues I have a few issues from ’86, but are a nightmare to scan as they are slightly bigger than A4. needing to scan each page in two parts.

        Like

        • Zackster says:

          I picked up an A3 scanner, so can do the older ones 2 pages at a time, when they switched to the newsprint format size, only one page fits but easier than on an A4 scanner. Real pain. I’ll try and get Roy # 9 & 10 scanned over the next few days.

          Like

      • Bryan says:

        Slowly getting early Tigers, hopefully get them uploaded this weekend

        Like

  4. Bryan says:

    Seriously thinking of buying one, depends on the quote I get from a company to scan my comics

    Like

  5. Bryan says:

    lots more to come this evening/tomorrow

    Liked by 1 person

    • boutje777 says:

      I think i’ve got them all. I will start preparing somewhere this month for the next update, just like all others that people have been uploading the last weeks (with a few execptions that i could not download for some strange reason). I hope all new comics are on the right pages at the end of the month.

      Like

  6. Donald says:

    I noticed that issue 292 is also missing. Does anyone know where i can find it?

    Like

  7. Tony Terry says:

    Thanks guys for all these links do you have all the 851 issues?

    Like

  8. Scott says:

    Thank u

    Like

  9. leemcdaid says:

    ‘Roy of the Rovers’

    Missing Annuals

    1959
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/rg0duhzmw8rkl7b/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1959.cbz

    1960
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/dhvaf22i04pithv/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1960.cbz

    1962
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/3do2c2b2u4dryr6/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1962.cbz

    1963
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/kpv3ub11a23cex2/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1963.cbz

    1964
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/bo2f2payhlc2nlw/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1964.cbz

    1965
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/ukda4663dtgp7qr/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1965_%28inc%29.cbz

    1967
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/9guhkovof8a544s/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1967.cbz

    1969
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/r23zmmdrrwm6ut1/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1969_%28inc%29.cbz

    1970
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/etn81gwhc7hr714/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1970.cbz

    1971
    https://mega.nz/#!AAxhHSbA!QbSVOn8bxJTirrYJnSsG0pJ7uctqhda0h6E8qaELm14

    1972
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/x8c7f8c8wm3y9i3/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1972.cbz

    1973
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/mv88ys55k0yjolq/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1973.cbz

    1974
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/cw9po4z8767lfbw/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1974.cbz

    1975
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/r9euc9ez7o3btik/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1975_%28inc%29.cbz

    1978
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/le8i2ft4b4x4sbp/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1978.cbz

    1979
    https://mega.nz/#!8BxgWbzT!8cOctopDB-6WmrNei-iuIks9OJ7PsuuQbhwrDIbT2bM

    1981
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/s0jxbapahi2pud8/Roy+of+the+Rovers+Annual+1981+%28Zeg%29.cbz

    1983
    https://mega.nz/#!cNgH1JCY!N-QQSIhvFc6Gs3HaQVVq7-0Oo7nF-hykuAnBfItEKDw

    1985
    https://mega.nz/#!oYIgUIDT!-gf18Wqm5RcAt1Gc4mamt6PCTsY5OBxRHKgyaU7uk4w

    1993
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/3p3plmzkmcjg63b/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Annual_1993.cbz

    2000

    https://mega.nz/#!lAY0xJIZ!SwhBdLPBgMDM98n9EARIejuoICoyRj8aiYzzwEI0PR0

    Like

  10. leemcdaid says:

    ‘Roy of the Rovers’

    Missing Specials

    1977
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/3wo2ixqqbz58gxf/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Holiday_Special_1977.cbz

    1978
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/ky7a5xmdjnr39oo/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Holiday_Special_1978_%28inc%29.cbz

    1979
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/74ena5hp1s7q37u/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Holiday_Special_1979.cbz

    1980
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/yy5hm1e9ehyebsq/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Holiday_Special_1980.cbz

    1981
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/2qu1rvbu9lapcd9/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Holiday_Special_1981.cbz

    1982
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/pp3m6fn47vlb362/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Summer_Special_1982.cbz

    1983
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/i0x5dkxd7gpsiad/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Holiday_Special_1983.cbz

    1986
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/b5hbcl7q1utt1yx/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Holiday_Special_1986.cbz

    1987
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/q69885g529g5i8b/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Holiday_1987.cbz

    1988
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/yiu61cyuhq2ebsw/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Winter_Special_1988.cbz

    1989
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/vsl6a6ul332l892/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Holiday_Special_1989.cbz

    1989 Winter

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/vj2w10vbzjdwzmz/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Winter_Special_1989.cbz

    1990
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/up0u7aupadqxhpp/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Holiday_Special_1990.cbz

    1990 Winter
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/dwrj89aa1t38rb1/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Winter_Special_1990.cbz

    1991
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/qypfril5mgi7h2y/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Holiday_Special_1991.cbz

    1993
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/1kfzqzj712iwcps/Roy_of_the_Rovers_Holiday_Special_1993.cbz

    Like

  11. Ian says:

    Looking through your Roy of the Rovers page, I notice that you have a lot of numbers repeated.

    Summary is that you have now issues 1-153, 155, 160-512, and final issue 851.

    Any double numbers that you have you can remove, to save you space. Just thought
    I be helpful to let you know.

    Like

  12. Andy says:

    Just to let you know about Roy of The Rovers Annuals. They were published from
    1958-1975, 1978-1994, 2000, 2008, 2009,

    There were no Annuals for 1976, 1977, 1995-1999.

    Like

  13. Andy says:

    Andy says:
    May 9, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    The Roy of the Rovers comic was launched as a weekly on 25 September 1976, named after the established comic strip of the same name that first appeared as weekly feature in the Tiger on 11 September 1954. The title ran for 853 issues, until 20 March 1993 (industrial action prevented publication of 3 issues in December 1978 and a further 5 in May and June 1980), and included other football strips and features. In February 1989, the comic merged with the similarly themed Hot Shot, and was known for a brief time as Roy of the Rovers and Hot Shot, but reverted to its original title shortly afterwards.

    The comic was relaunched as a monthly in September 1993, but finally closed in March 1995, after a further 19 issues.

    On 19 March 2012 The Royal Mail launched a special stamp collection to celebrate Britain’s rich comic book history. As well as Roy of the Rovers, the collection also featured The Beano, The Dandy, Eagle, The Topper, Bunty, Buster, Valiant, Twinkle and 2000 AD.

    Like

  14. Andy says:

    Regular features

    The weekly comic generally featured a handful of different strips, of between one and four pages in length, in addition to a letters page, hints and tips about playing football, and features on real-life players, teams and events. Roy of the Rovers was usually the lead feature, although once the cover of the magazine stopped featuring actual strips (instead using photographs of footballers, or artwork that depicted the events contained inside), it was not always the first feature in the comic. On some occasions, too, the RotR strip would be split (usually due to where the colour pages in the comic were), both opening and closing the issue and featuring a cliffhanger at its break.

    The backup strips were almost always football themed, and included:

    Billy’s Boots

    Main article: Billy’s Boots

    Arguably the most famous of the backup strips, Billy’s Boots had appeared in Scorcher, Tiger, Valiant and Eagle before finding a home in RotR. It told the story of Billy Dane, a hopeless schoolboy footballer who suddenly developed amazing skill and intuition whenever he wore the old boots of legendary striker “Dead Shot” Keen. The strip never dwelt at length on nor gave a definitive answer to whether or not the boots were genuinely magical, or simply gave Billy the confidence to play well (he would quite frequently lose the boots, at which point he would revert to playing poorly).

    Billy was one of several characters in the comic to not age in real time, as he remained a young boy throughout the long-running storyline.

    Hot Shot Hamish and Mighty Mouse

    Main article: Hot Shot Hamish and Mighty Mouse

    Originally these were two different humorous strips, both written by Fred Baker and drawn by Julio Schiaffino. Mighty Mouse, a Roy of the Rovers strip, 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 various mergers saw it end up in Tiger and finally RotR. Once the two strips were appearing in the same comic, they were eventually merged to form Hot Shot Hamish and Mighty Mouse (later shortened to simply Hamish and Mouse), when Mouse was transferred from Tottenford Rovers to join Hamish at Scottish club Princes Park in 1985. Five years later they moved to Glengow Rangers; the last new adventures involving the duo appeared in early 1993.

    Tommy’s Troubles

    Main article: Tommy’s Troubles

    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 centred 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.

    The strip began in the first edition of Roy of the Rovers in 1976, finally disappearing permanently a decade later.

    The Hard Man and Dexter’s Dozen

    Main article: Johnny Dexter

    Two strips that chronicled the career of tough-tackling centre-back Johnny “Hard Man” Dexter at two different clubs. The Hard Man was a mostly comical strip, noted for the antics of fat, bald, camp but extremely successful Hungarian manager Viktor Boskovic. Dexter’s Dozen originally took a more serious approach, with Johnny moving to the league’s worst team and trying to turn their fortunes around, but it later took on more comedy elements, with Viktor also re-appearing. Dexter would later transfer to Melchester Rovers and appear in the main RotR strip. Indeed, he was one of only a handful of characters from the weekly comic to appear in the monthly title, often being portrayed as having an awkward relationship with the Race family.

    The Safest Hands In Soccer and Goalkeeper

    Rare among strips of the time in that it focused on a goalkeeper (thus meaning that the emphasis of the strip was on match-winning saves as much as match-winning goals), The Safest Hands in Soccer (1977–82) starred Tynefield City’s Scottish keeper Gordon Stewart. He reappeared in the first episode of Goalkeeper in 1983, in a story set many years after his previous adventures had ended, when he died in a plane crash. The new story followed his teenage son Rick, who joined arch-rivals Tynefield United and remained in the comic until 1990. The Stewarts were fairly strait-laced characters, a marked contrast to the maverick “Rapper” Hardisty of later goalkeeper-focused strip Goalmouth.

    Playmaker

    Having previously been the lead strip in the short-lived Hot Shot comic, Playmaker went on to become one of the more popular strips of the latter years of Roy of the Rovers (1989–92). The story followed Andy Steel, a prodigious 15-year-old midfielder for Millside City in the First Division. Later strips would see him transfer to rich Second Division club Lands Park, and finally to big-name Spanish side Real Catania, along with his team-mate and fellow prodigy Kevin Radnor. The final strip in 1992 saw Catania win the Spanish league, and the now 17-year-old Steel finally gaining his first call-up to the full England team.

    Durrell’s Palace and Wayne’s Wolves

    Young manager Dan Wayne was to face constant battles as manager of Western League minnows Durrell’s Palace, who he became manager of in the first episode of the popular series in April 1981. Over the next few years he and veteran assistant/groundsman Joe Croke fought valiantly to keep the club in business amid a series of off-field difficulties, but enjoyed success in non-league cup competitions and even appeared at Wembley Stadium in 1984. Sadly the club folded the following year but Wayne remained in the comic in the new Wayne’s Wolves story for a year. This saw him managing top-flight side Wolverdon, who were financially crippled. After bringing former Palace players Jess Barton and Duke Dancer with him and operating on a shoestring budget, Wolves defied the odds to avoid relegation and win the FA Cup.[citation needed]

    The Marks Brothers

    Running from 1980 to 1983, The Marks Brothers was one of several long-running and popular stories to appear in the comic during the 1980s. The storyline followed the fortunes of brothers Steve and Terry Marks. It began with older brother Steve playing in attack for top-flight giants Kingsbay and Terry being the star defender for struggling Forth Division neighbours, Stockbridge Town. Terry would eventually make the switch to Kingsbay and together the brothers were UEFA Cup winners in 1981 and FA Cup winners when the storyline ended in June 1983.

    Others

    Other popular strips in the 1970s included Mike’s Mini Men (1976–80), following Mike Dailey’s Table Football adventures (the game appeared to be Subbuteo although it was not called this). Mi££ionaire Villa (1976–77) followed rich-kid David Bradley, a fanatical fan and hopeless player who had bought himself a place in the Selby Villa team for £2 million. Simon’s Secret (1977–79), meanwhile, featured a young boy whose footballing abilities were enhanced by “cybernetic” implants received after a car crash. Smith and Son (1976–78) followed Barry and Danny Smith’s double act at lowly Grandon Town, and The Boy Who Hated Football (1979–80) starred uninterested schoolboy John Smith, who ultimately did fall in love with the beautiful game. The Kid from Argentina (1979–81) followed Manton County’s disastrous mix-up in spending big money on an unknown youngster called Jorge Porbillas from Argentina, rather than their intended target who was a famous Argentine international of the same name.

    The 1980s saw a slew of popular strips run in the comic, including The Apprentices (1983–84), a short-lived strip detailing the exploits of Melchester’s apprentice professionals (effectively acting as the Melchester Rovers story in the comic as Roy was managing Walford for much of its run)—and Harker’s War (1985), a strip that took an unconventional angle by showing a former policeman’s one-man war on football hooliganism. The mid-1980s also saw reprints of Nipper, a popular strip originally appearing in Score ‘n’ Roar and Scorcher and Score, that featured Nipper Lawrence, a plucky working class teenaged orphan playing for Blackport Rovers. Interestingly, an older Nipper had previously shown up in the RotR strip itself, appearing in the England team that Roy Race selected during his one-match tenure as national coach. The strip also appeared in the short-lived monthly comic. There were some storylines that stretched reality in the 1980s, including The Wheelchair Wonder (1982–83), as a First Division teenage wonderkid managed to play again after a road accident despite needing to use of a wheelchair most of the time, while Project 917 (1985–86) featured robot Rob Smith as a prolific goalscorer for Westhampton City. Meanwhile, Kevin Clarke progressed to Melchester Rovers after being a cocky teenager with Selbridge in Kevin’s Chance (1986–87).

    In addition to reprints of classic strips, a number of memorable new features began in the early 1990s. Goalmouth (1990–92) took quite a modern tone, following brilliant young goalkeeper Nick “Rapper” Hardisty, who was also part owner of the struggling Fourth Division club he played for, and who had a propensity for rapping very loudly at opponents and teammates during matches. Rapper was another player who would eventually be signed by Melchester, ending his own strip. Buster’s Ghost (1992–93) was a sequel of sorts to Nipper, created by the same writer (Tom Tully) and artist (Solano Lopez) and featuring the same club, Blackport Rovers. Buster Madden had been a top-class player for the club, but was killed in a car crash, and reappeared as a ghost to aid his former team-mates on the pitch in a variety of bizarre ways. His cousin Nigel Foster, also a Blackport player, was the only person who could see him (a similar story called The Footballer Who Wouldn’t Stay Dead had run a decade earlier). United (1992), meanwhile, was one of a handful of strips that only enjoyed a short life due to being introduced in the dying years of the original weekly comic, and was unique among Roy Of The Rovers strips in that its fictional protagonists (a struggling Premier League side) were actually shown playing against real-life teams and players. Cheat (1992–93) saw Nick Leach continually cheat his way to the top, only to ultimately see his well-deserved comeuppance, while Future Ball (1992–93) gave an insight into how football may be in the future, played across the planets. The final new story to begin was Dream Keeper, which ran for just a few weeks in 1993.

    Over the years, there were also occasional non-football strips, such as Racey’s Rocket (1984–85), which was about stock-car racing, and Johnny Cougar, the story of the “redskin wrestler” which had previously run in Tiger, but these strips never seemed to fit into the football-themed comic and were invariably quickly dropped. Another spin-off was The Son of Racey (1989–90), which gave schoolboy Roy Race Jr his first prominent role in the comic just before he joined Rovers as an apprentice.

    In addition to the players mentioned above who migrated from their own strips to the main RotR strip, there were also occasional “cross-overs” between strips in the weekly comic—for instance, in an early episode of The Legend, lead character and superstar player Agostina Da Silva was shown playing against Melchester.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ian says:

    A TIMELINE OF ROY OF THE ROVERS

    1954 – First appearance of Roy of the Rovers on September 11, as a feature in the comic Tiger

    1960 – The Melchester Rovers team disappeared when their aircraft was shot by rebel forces in a South American civil war

    1964 – The squad is kidnapped near Bogota and has to escape on horseback

    1968 – Roy Race breaks the club’s 30-year club record with his 300th goal

    1976 – Roy of the Rovers starts up as a separate comic with the first edition released on September 25. It runs for 853 issues, until March 20, 1993

    1978 – Race stands in as England manager for a friendly with Holland after the national team boss is injured in a car crash

    1981 – Roy is gunned down in his office by a mystery assassin. It later turns out to be a disgruntled actor who played him on TV

    Early 1980s – Roy’s wife Penny leaves him, in a storyline covered by national news

    1985 – Former stars Bob Wilson and Emlyn Hughes come out of retirement to play for Melchester. Martin Kemp and Steve Norman, of the pop group Spandau Ballet, join the board in the same year. Eight members of the Melchester team are killed in a bungled act of terrorism in war-torn Basran.

    1992 – Roy sensationally quits Melchester on Sky Sports

    1993 – Re-launches as a monthly comic with grittier storylines aimed at teenage readers. Roy’s playing days are ended after nearly 40 years when he loses control of his helicopter and crashes into a field

    1997 – Final home for the comic is Match of the Day magazine – until 2001

    2012 – Roy of the Rovers archive launched for iPad

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2249373/Roy-Rovers–Melchester-Rovers-relaunched-online-comic.html#ixzz5F2xja38dhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2249373/Roy-Rovers–Melchester-Rovers-relaunched-online-comic.html#ixzz5F2xja38d
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mark says:

    Sorry posting comment once more in it’s entirety as the word ‘notice’ came out as ‘no’ on previous entry (Groan…A thousand apologies), please delete previous two messages I messed up on. Great blog, love collecting these nostalgic classics. Thank you for dedication creating and uploading these classics.. Do you think you’re going to be able to find issues 154, 156-159 & 513 to 850. Notice from doing some searching myself it doesn’t seem easy to find them elsewhere. Thanks again. 🙂

    Like

    • boutje777 says:

      Thanks, you are welcome.

      There is always a chance someone scanned these and placed them on the internet and i find them, when i do they will show up on the blog also offcourse.

      Like

  17. Kalyan Raajan says:

    I cannot find issues 154, 156,157,158,159 and Annuals 1995 to 1999
    Please look into the matter.

    Like

  18. boutje777 says:

    Thanks for the offer.

    Here they are.

    154 1979-09-22
    156 1979-10-06
    157 1979-10-13
    158 1979-10-20
    159 1979-10-27

    Like

  19. Zackster says:

    154
    http://www.filefactory.com/file/7bd13ukto3pz/Roy%20of%20the%20Rovers%20154%20%5B1979-09-22%5D.cbz

    Will get to the others asap, not sure of the time frame but I will get them scanned & uploaded.

    Like

  20. Zackster says:

    Roy of the Rovers 156 [1979-10-06]
    Mike’s Mini Men wasn’t printed in this issue for some reason.

    Like

  21. Zackster says:

    Roy of the Rovers 158 [1979-10-20]

    http://www.filefactory.com/file/5ga493dmh1av/Roy_of%20the%20Rovers%20158%20%5B1979-10-20%5D.cbz

    Will get 159 up in the next day or 2.

    Like

  22. deepex says:

    Hey thanks for these…. have read the majority of the Roy of the Rovers story but missed out on the back up stories like Dexters Dozen and Hardman so looking forward to reading these.

    Like

  23. […] The Hurricanes-Chiefs quarter-final last night had a myriad of interesting story-lines, not least Beauden Barrett (how many times have I typed his name? I’m losing count), continuing his Roy of the Rovers exploits through the recent history of Rugby Union.   (from the old ‘Tiger’ comics- they were popular here, also). […]

    Like

  24. Zackster says:

    Fixed 140, complete (was missing back cover and 2nd page of Mike’s Mini Men
    http://www.filefactory.com/file/5qi8hzwmai4l/Roy%20of%20the%20Rovers%20140%20%5B1979-06-16%5D.cbz

    Like

  25. Zackster says:

    A few more, I’ve been reading Tommy’s Troubles and Mike’s Mini Men so discovered a few pages missing (didn’t bother scanning posters and such, just the strips)

    153 http://www.filefactory.com/file/t5w54frao3r/Roy%20of%20the%20Rovers%20153%20%5B1979-09-15%5D%20%28ChrisB%29.cbz
    Fixed two missing speech bubbles in Mike’s Mini Men

    172 – http://www.filefactory.com/file/5x8qgketjzab/Roy%20of%20the%20Rovers%20172%20%5B1980-01-26%5D.cbz
    Tommy’s Troubles now complete

    176 http://www.filefactory.com/file/6v7ux0u6xcnz/Roy%20of%20the%20Rovers%20176%20%5B1980-02-23%5D.cbz
    Safest Hands In Soccer now complete

    187 http://www.filefactory.com/file/5tqpt7jibq4h/Roy%20of%20the%20Rovers%20187%20%5B1980-05-10%5D.cbz
    Tommy’s Troubles now complete

    Like

  26. phantom70 says:

    i have a complete collection of rotr however the original comics are in uk and im in spain, im going back for a visit to uk in november hopefully,. so if i get a chance ill bring the comics over with me and scan them.
    i found the bumper book 2 in my discs so ill post a link for that for you in a bit

    Like

    • boutje777 says:

      Thanks for the offer, that would be great, you need a list with the issues that are allready on the site in the right order ? Perhaps easier for you to see what is missing.

      Like

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