Rebellion, the publisher of the 2018 Roy of the Rovers reboot, has teamed up with the National Literacy Trust this week to give away 10,000 books from the brand new series to reluctant readers across the United Kingdom.
The return of Roy of the Rovers has been greeted with enthusiasm across the UK, especially in the football community, where the comic and its central character, Roy Race, are thought of as icons – and which also introduced generations of football fans to reading for pleasure. This week’s giveaway includes 5000 copies of Roy of the Rovers: Scouted, an illustrated novel by celebrated children’s author Tom Palmer, and 5000 copies of Roy of the Rovers: Kick-Off, by best-selling comics writer Rob Williams (2000AD, Suicide Squad) and artist Ben Willsher (2000AD, Doctor Who Magazine).
The books are being distributed through National Literacy Trust Hubs – areas where the charity works with communities and local partners to tackle low literacy levels that are seriously impacting on people’s lives. The National Literacy Trust Hubs that will receive books through this giveaway include Swindon, the North Yorkshire Coast, Peterborough, Middlesbrough, Bradford, Nottingham, Hastings, and Stoke-on-Trent.
“We’re delighted to be bringing brand new Roy of the Rovers comics and novels to children up and down the country,” Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley commented. “Over the years Roy was many youngsters’ route into reading, and we often hear from journalists, authors and, of course, footballers, who went on to have careers inspired by the comic.
“It’s a real pleasure to be bringing the joy of reading – and Roy of the Rovers – to an entirely new generation of readers.”
“I loved Roy of the Rovers growing up,” notes Jim Sells, Sport and Literacy Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust, “so I’m delighted that the adventures of Roy Race and Melchester Rovers are back to inspire a whole new generation of children to get reading.
“We’ve seen first- hand how bringing football into the classroom can level the playing field for children who have fallen behind in their reading, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, where we focus our work.
“We would like to thank Rebellion for their generous support and for enabling us to get 10,000 exciting new books into the hands of the children who need them the most in our National Literacy Trust Hubs.”
Roy of the Rovers is the stuff of legend. Charting the career of charismatic Melchester Rovers striker Roy Race, Roy of the Rovers first appeared as a strip in Tiger in 1954, proving an instant smash with football-mad boys. Graduating to its own comic in 1976, Roy of the Rovers was where a generation of British football fans went for drama and glory, and ran for over 800 issues. Extolling the virtues of fair play, teamwork and great goals, Roy of the Rovers is the definitive football comic, and returns in 2018 with a brand new story.
Rebellion and the National Literacy Trust have also they will be launching an exciting competition for schools in 2019. Teachers can find out more and register their interest in taking part from today here
• More about Roy of the Rovers at www.royoftheroversofficial.com
• The National Literacy Trust are an independent charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK. Their research and analysis make them the leading authority on literacy. The NLT run projects in the poorest communities, campaign to make literacy a priority for politicians and parents, and support schools. Visit www.literacytrust.org.uk to find out more, donate or sign up for our free email newsletter.
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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.