Roy Of The Rovers: The Best Of The 1960s – More Incredible Football Tales From Melchester’s Finest
by Richard Bruton
The reprints of the finest player ever to put on a Melchester Rovers strip continues into the 60s here as Roy Race straps on those famous boots once more.
Inside, the tales feature the same sort of on and off-pitch adventures, albeit getting somewhat more bizarre at times – there’s a series of strips in this one where Melchester Rovers find their plane shot down in the Caribbean where they’re forced to take part in a propaganda football match or two! There’s also trouble with saboteurs burning down the dressing room and problems with an obsessed fan.
But, aside from that, there’s plenty of footballing action, with a long cup run leading the team, led now by Roy Race, to the FA Cup final of 1966 against the mighty Eastoke.
The collection features material from the very end of 1959 through to 1961 and then jumps to the FA Cup run of 1966. So, although this is a really great collection of reprints, it’s by no means a definitive complete collection. Maybe one day.
As far as the creative teams involved, again we start with Joe Colquhoun writing and drawing the strip, a real rarity back in the day. Early in the 60s, the strip’s editor, Derek Birnage, took over writing duties and even pulled off the great publicity coup of being able to announce that none other than Bobby Charlton was taking over as writer. In truth, it was merely Birnage writing, although he always said that Charlton did suggest some of the story ideas along the way. Alas, we may never know the truth!
On art, we have the wonderful stylings of Joe Colquhoun on the early strips here, later being replaced by Fred Holmes in those early 60s tales. By the 1966 adventures, Colquhoun is back on the art. And there’s some beautiful looking art in those later pages…
Credit must go to the production team on these reprints as well. With the Best of the 1950s volume, the interior pages had a somewhat muddy appearance, understandable for the age of the pages they had to deal with. But here, everything is wonderfully crisp, fabulously reproduced.
Now, enjoy the preview of the wonderful 60s years of Melchester’s finest…
Roy of the Rovers: The Best of the 1960s. Written by Joe Colquhoun, Derek Birnage, and Bobby Charlton. Art by Fred T. Holmes and Joe Colquhoun. Published by Rebellion and The Treasury of British Comics.
Featuring material originally serialised in Tiger and Comet between 1959-1961 and 1966, plus the 1969 Roy of the Rovers Annual.