Roy Race, the teenage goal-scoring sensation at Melchester Rovers, and the star of iconic football series Roy of the Rovers, has signed an exclusive boot deal with British sportswear brand Gola.
It’s not the first time Gola has been seen in the pages of Roy of the Rovers – back in 1981, Gola sponsored the iconic footballing superstar Roy Race, and his team Melchester Rovers, a deal negotiated by the comic’s editor Barrie Tomlinson.
The partnership made the cover of the issue of Roy of the Rovers cover dated 4th July 1981, with Roy first showing off his brand new red and yellow Gola sponsored kit to his team mates.
“What do you think of our new playing strip?” he asked. “Terrific, isn’t it?”
In the following years, the Gola sponsorship of Melchester Rovers would become emblematic of Roy of the Rovers for an entire generation of football-mad fans, with current ROTR comics writer Rob Williams recalling buying a pair, along with many others.
Now Rebellion – publishers of the rebooted Roy of the Rovers – are delighted to be working with Gola once more.
Roy will be sporting Gola football boots in illustrated fiction and graphic novels for the rest of the 2018/19 season, and will be seen in his custom boots for the first time on the cover of Roy of the Rovers: Teamwork by Tom Palmer, out now.
Roy can also be seen shaking the hand of Gola Chairman Harvey Jacobson on the pitch at Mel Park in the pages of the second new graphic novel, Roy of the Rovers: Foul Play by Rob Williams and Ben Willsher, out on 7th March 2019. Having signed a boot deal with the brand, the signature Melchester Rovers colour palette of red, yellow and black has been applied to the Gola Ativo 5 Gamma VX style.
“Gola is so pleased to be sponsoring Roy Race for the second time and to a whole new generation of readers,” a spokesperson for Gola commented. “The partnership is a fitting tribute to Gola’s long footballing heritage.”
“We’re delighted to have signed a boot deal for Roy, and Gola are the perfect partner!” commented Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley OBE.
“Gola had a great – and hugely popular – partnership with Roy of the Rovers in the past, and it’s fantastic to be able to re-establish that relationship for the modern era. We’re sure Racey will be scoring plenty of goals with his awesome new boots!”
“It’s good to see Gola back again with Roy,” enthused Barrie Tomlinson on Twitter. “It was fun helping to negotiate the original deal. Go for it, Racey!”
• Roy of the Rovers is online at royoftheroversofficial.com
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The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.