To celebrate the return of the classic Roy of the Rovers comic, the National Literacy Trust and publisher Rebellion are inviting pupils aged 8 to 12 to get creative and write a club motto for Roy Race’s iconic football team, Melchester Rovers.
As well as £250 worth of books and comics for their school, the winning pupil will receive a prize that money can’t buy – their motto will be written into an upcoming Roy of the Rovers book by best-selling children’s author, Tom Palmer, who will also visit the winner’s school.
The winner and 10 runners up will also get a full set of signed Roy of the Rovers books.
The competition is open now and runs until 30th April 2019, and is open to children aged 8 to 12 (School Years 4 to 7).
Publishers Rebellion have rebooted the legendary Roy of the Rovers comic for the 21st century to help inspire new generations of children to fall in love with reading through football. As part of Rebellion’s commitment to children’s literacy, the publisher has already donated 10,000 Roy of the Rovers graphic novels and illustrated fiction books to National Literacy Trust Hubs around the UK.
The publisher says this competition is the natural next step for Rebellion’s burgeoning partnership with the charity.
As we’ve previously reported, the Roy of the Rovers books and graphic novels tell the story of 16-year-old Roy Race as he begins his career in football. When given the chance to play for Melchester Rovers, the team he has supported all his life, Roy must be fitter, stronger and more determined than ever.
Using exciting excerpts and illustrations from the new books, the National Literacy Trust has created a range of free teaching resources and activities, including top tips from author Tom Palmer, to help pupils write a motto that encapsulates Roy Race’s passion for football, celebrates the team spirit of Melchester Rovers and inspires fans.
Teachers will also receive a free Roy of the Rovers poster for their classroom and bookmarks for pupils.
“Roy of the Rovers helped me discover a love of reading” says Tom Palmer, author of the new Roy of the Rovers chapter books.
“I might be a reader and writer now, but I wasn’t when I was at school. I was intimidated by reading. I feared it. But all that changed when I started reading about the only thing I cared about at that age – football.
“Roy Race quickly became my football hero. He didn’t give up. He faced challenges head on. When things went wrong, he would find a solution, not just blame others. And he scored great goals!
“10-year-old me would have loved to enter this competition,” Tom continues, “getting the chance to turn Roy’s ‘can do’ attitude and passion for the beautiful game into a punchy motto for Melchester Rovers.
“Good luck to everyone entering the competition – I can’t wait to celebrate the winning pupil by writing their motto into a Roy of the Rovers book!”
Jim Sells, Sport and Literacy Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust, said: “We’ve seen first-hand how bringing football into the classroom can level the playing field for children who have fallen behind with their reading and writing.
“We can’t wait to see how Roy’s latest adventures will inspire children and young people to write a motto that celebrates the true spirit of the mighty Melchester Rovers.”
Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley said: “Roy of the Rovers isn’t just about football, fair play and Roy Race – it’s also about the joy of reading compelling stories and following great characters as they overcome the odds.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with the National Literacy Trust in this competition, and hope that Roy of the Rovers can inspire a whole new generation to enjoy reading, just as it has done in the past.”
• To enter the competition and download free materials and activities, visit: literacytrust.org.uk/competitions/roy-of-the-rovers/
• To find out more about Roy of the Rovers, visit: www.royoftheroversofficial.com
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.