Roy of the Rovers Stuff: a look back at the newspaper strips

Former Tiger and Roy of the Rovers editor Barrie Tomlinson recently shared some examples of the “Roy of the Rovers” strip featured in the Today newspaper. The posts reminded us of a time, not that long ago, when such material was considered integral to a newspaper’s Unique Selling Points – sadly, no longer, for the most part.

Roy of the Rovers Today Newspaper Strip by Barrie Tomlinson and Kim Raymond
Roy of the Rovers Today Newspaper Strip by Barrie Tomlinson and Kim Raymond

Both strips, written by Barrie, drawn by Kim Raymond, feature in the Roy of the Rovers Collection, which reprinted strips that had appeared in newspaper, published in 1987.

“The Roy of the Rovers” newspaper strip, published in the Today newspaper between 1986 and 1995, on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, seems largely forgotten. It isn’t, at present, even mentioned on the Roy of the Rovers Wikipedia page for example, or indeed, the ROTR strip that ran in the Daily Star in the late 1980s, written by Tom Tully, drawn by Yvonne Hutton.

An example of the Roy of the Rovers strip that ran in the Daily Star, by Tom Tully and Yvonne Hutton. Via ComicsUK
An example of the Roy of the Rovers strip that ran in the Daily Star, by Tom Tully and Yvonne Hutton. Via ComicsUK

A feature on the Today strips by Mark Towers was however included on the original official Roy of the Rovers web site, archived here on Wayback.

The Today stories were promoted in the Roy of the Rovers comic following its debut on 19th April 1986.

The Roy of the Rovers Collection No. 1 (1987)

Copies of The Roy of the Rovers Collection No. 1, published by IPC in 1987, crop up on secondhand bookshop sites for reasonable prices, including AbeBooks.

Today, Roy of the Rovers is enjoying new life in new comics and fiction published by Rebellion – but in today’s environment of cost cutting and bean counting, a newspaper strip seems, sadly, very unlikely.

Roy of the Rovers – Rebellion Books Check List

The downthetubes guide to Rebellion’s Roy of the Rovers graphic novels and collections

• Roy of the Rovers Official Site: royoftheroversofficial.com

• For more about British newspaper strips, order a copy of The A to Z of British Newspaper Strips by Paul Hudson from Book Palace Books, due for release next month

Roy of the Rovers © 2022 Rebellion Publishing Ltd

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. 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 “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Newspaper Strips, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

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