The heroes of the Emirates FA Cup third round have been immortalised in a limited edition Roy of the Rovers comic released this week, which earned attention on local news media around the UK as free copies were given out to young fans.
The commemorative strip depicts action from an exhilarating Cup weekend which saw Barnet, Gillingham, Oldham Athletic (the “Latics”) and Newport County all overcome the odds to record famous upsets.
Following Oldham and Newport’s stunning victories against Premier League opposition, the managers of both sides described their achievements as “Roy of the Rovers stuff” and the new comic, published in partnership with official Roy of the Rovers publishers Rebellion, features a Cup-themed storyline and artwork by Roy of the Rovers artist Ben Willsher.
It includes Latics keeper Daniel Iversen’s penalty stop against Fulham at Craven Cottage, Newport’s Padraig Amond’s 85th-minute winner for the Exiles against Leicester City, Elliott List’s winner for Gillingham against Cardiff City and Barnet’s victory at Sheffield United.
A limited number of the free comic books have been released by each of the teams, with fans queueing up to own a piece of history, and you can download your own copy of the comic on the FA.com web site.
Local regional TV news picked up on the story, with Granada Reports covering distribution of the comic at Oldham’s grounds to enthusiastic young fans on its evening show.
“I described our win as ‘Roy of the Rovers stuff’ and I wasn’t lying,” says Oldham Athletic caretaker boss Pete Wild.
“When I heard that The FA were actually creating a Roy of the Rovers comic book I was over the moon. To put this club and the players who worked so hard to secure the win in the spotlight is really special. I’m sure the fans are going to love it.”
“Growing up I used to read Roy of the Rovers comics, so seeing myself in comic book form is crazy,” added Amond. “The Emirates FA Cup has given us a chance to prove ourselves and I’m delighted that our fans can now keep a bit of that history with this comic.
“It’s brilliant, I’ll certainly be keeping my copy in a special place.”
“We are delighted to create this commemorative comic book featuring the stars of Barnet, Gillingham, Newport County and Oldham Athletic,” commented Andy Ambler, The FA’s director of professional game relations, “and hope the fans across the country enjoy looking back on these memorable moments in cartoon form.”
Roy of the Rovers returned to print in 2018 with a brand new story and a new contemporary look and feel after a 17-year hiatus. The new comics are written by Rob Williams with art by Ben Willsher.
The latest edition features hero Roy Race as a 16-year-old footballing prodigy taking his first steps in the professional game, and retaining the same talent and passion that made him a favourite for football fans since the 1950s.
• Download your copy of the Limited Edition Roy of the Rovers conic here on the FA web site (link at bottom of page) | Direct Download (PDF)
• The Emirates FA Cup fourth round kicks off on Friday 25th January
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Roy of the Rovers © Rebellion Publishing Ltd