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Roy of the Rovers
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The New Era

September 2016

The publisher of cult comic 2000 AD has announced it has bought Roy of the Rovers and dozens of other out-of-print 1970s and 1980s titles.
Oxford-based Rebellion said it is the biggest deal of its kind in 30 years and could bring "long-vanished" classic comics back into print.

20 April 2018

Internationally acclaimed comics writer Rob Williams (Suicide Squad, Superman: Action Comics) and artist Ben Willsher (2000 AD, Doctor Who Magazine) are the team behind the brand new Roy of the Rovers graphic novels, beginning with Roy of the Rovers: Kick-Off, to be released 6 September 2018.

Best-selling children’s author Tom Palmer (Football Academy, Foul Play) takes the lead on Roy of the Rovers: Scouted, Rebellion’s first foray into middle grade fiction, to be released 4 October 2018.

Also on the Roy of the Rovers team sheet is graphic novel editor Keith Richardson, and Rob Power, who will be editing the middle grade fiction alongside his role as Roy of the Rovers Brand Manager.

Rebellion  CEO  Jason Kingsley OBE commented:

“Roy of the Rovers is an enormously exciting project for us, and we’ve been working hard to ensure that we respect the legacy of this iconic British character. We’ve assembled an incredibly  strong team to bring Roy Race back for the 21st century, and I look forward to following  Roy’s journey through the always exciting world of modern football.”

Rebellion Head of Publishing Ben Smith commented:

“We’re delighted to have such a high calibre  of creative talent on board for our reboot of Roy of the Rovers. Rob, Ben and Tom’s stories are bursting with all the excitement, drama and football fervour of the classic Roy of the Rovers comics,  while giving us a thoroughly  modern  take on the character.  We can’t wait for a new generation of fans to read them.”

Rob Williams commented:

“I read and loved  Roy of the Rovers as a boy  - I even had the old Gola Melchester Rovers kit - and I have very fond memories of the Roy annuals arriving on Christmas Day with wonderful David Sque art on their covers. Roy’s a British football  icon. Even now, a ‘rocket’-like goal is a Roy of the Rovers moment. So I’m delighted to be part of the passionate team bringing Roy’s adventures to a new era of football fan.”

Tom Palmer commented:

“Millions of girls and boys dream about being their favourite football player and being scouted and playing for their favourite team. I had that dream. Sadly it didn’t come true for me. But, being scouted and succeeding in my trial to write Roy of the Rovers fiction is a dream that has come true. There is no other fictional footballer I would rather be and write. And I intend to write these books with the same passion and commitment  Roy shows when he pulls on the red and yellow of Melchester Rovers.”

Ben Willsher commented:

“Roy of the Rovers was a big part of my childhood. The annuals stacked up in my bookshelf, and the comics burst out of my cupboards. Growing up I dreamed of helping Roy score goals and lead Melchester to the top... I finally  get to do that- result!”

14 May 2018

The brand new Melchester Rovers club crest unveiled.

Featuring a modern, sleek design and a nod to the history of Roy of the Rovers – which made its debut in Tiger back in 1954 – the brand new Melchester Rovers crest represents a new era for the club after so many years out of the public eye.

The new badge will make its on-pitch debut in the 2018/19 season, in what is sure to be a tough year for the club as it takes on the challenges of League Two.

However, we’ve heard there are some talented young prospects looking to burst through the ranks into the senior team, and we’re certain that the future is looking very bright indeed for Melchester and the Rovers faithful…

17 May 2018

Melchester Rovers, the legendary football team featured in iconic British football comic Roy of the Rovers, is delighted to unveil its official shirt sponsor for the 2018/19 season: The Totally Football Show.

The UK’s leading football podcast, The Totally Football Show – presented by Football Italia maestro James Richardson and produced by Muddy Knees Media – is authoritative, witty, and full of a passion for the game. No wonder that it was listened to over 26 million times in the 2017/18 season...

All of which makes it the perfect fit for Melchester Rovers, as the club builds up to the exciting 2018 reboot of Roy of the Rovers. And while Melchester Rovers might be fictional, the relationship between TheTotally Football Show and the club is very real.

The Totally Football Show’s logo will appear on the brand new Rovers shirt, and a special podcast will air before the publication of the first new Roy of the Rovers graphic novel in the autumn.

Muddy Knees Media’s chief executive Iain Macintosh commented:

“As someone who grew up reading Roy of the Rovers in my dad’s old Tiger annuals, I’m absolutely delighted that The Totally Football Show will be the first Melchester Rovers shirt sponsor of this exciting new era. Like so many football fans, young and old, we can’t wait to get stuck into the new adventures.”

Roy of the Rovers brand manager Rob Power commented:

“We’re over the moon to be working with The Totally Football Show – there really couldn’t be a better sponsor for the new Melchester Rovers kit. The podcast, its presenters and its audience all have one thing in common: a deep passion for football, from the top of the Premiership to the bottom of League Two and beyond. That love of the game is what’s at the heart of Roy of the Rovers, and that’s what makes this partnership such a perfect fit.”

22 May 2018

A new era of the world’s most famous football comic demanded a bold new look, and so Mundial –whose reputation for sharp looks equals their footballing credentials – were drafted in.

The result is a stunning new logo that echoes the rich history of Roy of the Rovers while emphasising the exciting new era that begins in 2018. Modern, clean, and with a distinct colour palette, Mundial has brought Roy of the Rovers bang up to date.

Of course, the collaboration doesn’t end with simply a logo. Mundial has also been instrumental in guiding the Roy of the Rovers team, providing invaluable expertise and insight as the project to reboot the iconic comics property has taken shape.

Roy of the Rovers Brand Manager Rob Power commented:

“Mundial was top of our list when we were looking for collaborators to help shape the look and feel of the rebooted Roy of the Rovers, and we were genuinely thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a superb team. Mundial loves football, has an uncanny knack for gorgeous design, and a team that will move heaven and earth to help. They have delivered a stunning new look for Roy of the Rovers, and we’re sure that this is the first of many collaborations between us. Viva Mundial!”

Mundial’s Head of Content Owen Blackhurst commented:

“The offer to work with Rebellion on Roy of the Rovers came out of the blue, and after seeing the art direction we were incredibly happy to be involved. We all have our own memories of Roy, whether it was in newspaper comic strips or iconic annuals we owned as kids, and it was a fantastic experience seeing the new Roy take shape. All we need now is a Melchester Rovers v Sporting Club de Mundial pre-season friendly immortalised in print and our work will be done…”

25 May 2018

Rebellion Publishing is delighted to unveil the star of the highly anticipated Roy of the Rovers reboot, and hot new Melchester Rovers prospect: Roy Race.

The new-look Roy of the Rovers will make its debut in a serialised strip in BBC Match of the Day magazine  - published by Immediate Media - running weekly from 5 June through to 21 August. It’s a glorious return to the pages of Match of the Day magazine, which was home to Roy of the Rovers from 1997 to 2001.

Roy’s been on the subs bench since then, but Rebellion is enormously excited to be launching a rebooted version of the world’s most famous football comic in 2018, first with this strip and then with more new material to follow in the Autumn.

The Match of the Day magazine strip is a self-contained story following Melchester Rovers as they partake in the Caridad Cup, a charity tournament taking place in Spain that pits them against local rivals Tynecaster, and Spanish teams Varagosa and Real Santana.

Rebellion is also to publish a series of graphic novels and illustrated children’s fiction in 2018, with the first books hitting shelves in the autumn.

The artist for the Match of the Day magazine strips is talented newcomer Lisa Henke, with Rebellion’s Rob Power and Keith Richardson on writing duties.

Character design of the new Roy Race was by acclaimed comics artist Ben Wilsher (2000 AD, Doctor Who magazine), who will also illustrate the graphic novels later in the year.

The new Melchester Rovers kit, seen here for the first time, is supplied by hummel®, and sponsored by leading football podcast The Totally Football Show.

Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley OBE commented:

“Roy of the Rovers is a legend of British comics, a national icon that has been in the public consciousness since 1954. Re-imagining a character as beloved as Roy Race is an opportunity that doesn’t come around too often, and we’re delighted to begin the next chapter in Roy of the Rovers history. The ‘new’ Roy Race might look different to his predecessors, but rest assured the core of the character – from his talent through to his sportsmanship and, of course, his blonde mop, remain.”

Match of the Day magazine editor Ian Foster commented:

“We’re delighted to be serialising Roy of the Rovers: the new designs are stunning and with a World Cup around the corner it’s the perfect time to bring the adventures of Roy Race to a new generation of young football fans. From buying the comic as a kid myself in the 80s I know our readers will be really excited to follow the storylines every week.”

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