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Πέμπτη, 12 Αυγούστου 2010

Icons of England : Roy of the Rovers


When teenage football prodigy Roy Race made his debut in the Tiger comic in 1954, he was scoring his swansong goal in his last youth team appearance. Signed by talent scout Alf Leeds to Melchester Rovers, Roy rapidly progressed from the juniors to first-team action, scoring twice on his debut against Elbury Wanderers in a 3-3 draw. In the dazzling red-and-yellow strip of Rovers, he became the hot-shot hero of hundreds of cartoon stories. Such was his following that he eventually formed the centrepiece of a comic named after him, although his skills remained on loan to the Tiger.

In the latter stages of his career, Roy became manager of the Italian team AC Monza, and then achieved the ultimate accolade of managing the England national team. Although his weekly comic passed into history in 1993, Roy’s story continued to be documented in other publications for some years. He was last seen in 2001 in the BBC’s Match of the Day magazine. Some feel that not only Roy’s playing and managerial skills, but his even-tempered dedication to pure sportsmanship are sorely missing from the 21st-century game.

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