‘Roy Of The Rovers: The Best Of The 1970s – The Tiger Years’

by Richard Bruton

As Melchester Rovers’ finest blasted his way into the 70s, things were changing in football and, thanks to editor Barrie Tomlinson, writer Tom Tully and the art from Yvonne Hutton and David Sque, Roy’s life changed to keep up with the times. And it was a lot more than just the length of the hair…time to catch up with Roy of the Rovers in the early 70s

This ‘Best of’ takes us from 1973 to 1975, the last of the Tiger years before Roy got his very own comic,  coming in the second volume of the ‘Best of the 1970s’ at some point, maybe later this year, maybe next.
But here, as we roll into the 70s, we’re in the midst of changes in the world, both on and off the pitch at Melchester and beyond. So we get to see lots of footballing action, both at home and abroad, new strips for Rovers, and a move into management for Melchester’s favourite as he gets the job of player-manager.
And you’ll also see changes off the pitch with the nation’s favourite footballer’s strips, as with previous volumes, proving to be something of a cultural barometer, with storylines and artwork showing us the changing world of 70s Britain.
Sometimes it’s slightly ridiculous… this is Roy’s first player-manager suit (art by Sque) … an abomination of 70s fashion…

But then there are the other times when we see the storylines and artwork reflecting a more socially relevant view of 70s Britain.
It’s there on the pitch of course, with young players finding fame and fortune, money coming into play, trouble with the law – that sort of thing. But you’ll also see it in the art, especially the backgrounds, such as this one where Roy Race is tracking down a potential new player in East Melchester, an area of inner-city deprivation and slum clearances, with art this time by Hutton…

Noticeably, through the years, things have been moving further into soap opera and, although we’re nowhere near the peak of that sort of storyline, there’s plenty of drama to be found. You’ll see the new young player coming in and shaking things up, a mystery over a missing manager, and perhaps silliest of all, a storyline featuring a circus entertainer joining Melchester…

But despite it occasionally descending into some strange soap opera as Tully comes up with storylines, the art is consistently stunning, whether it’s from Hutton or Sque. Now, on the Internet, it’s mentioned that Hutton’s era runs to 1974, with Sque taking over in 1975. However, it’s something that’s glaringly missing from the credits here, something of a surprise when it comes to Treasury books, as they’re usually very good at that sort of thing.
But, assuming that 74/75 split is the right one, there’s very little in it between Hutton and Sque, both artists here providing some absolutely stunning scenes, both capable of absolutely nailing the sporting action on the field and the dramatic events off the field. There will be plenty of chance to celebrate David Sque’s artwork next time, but for now, we will leave you with some glorious panel work from Hutton….



Roy of the Rovers – The Best of the 1970s – The Tiger Years – by Tom Tully, Yvonne Hutton, David Sque. Originally serialised in Tiger between 16 June – 6 October 1973, 3 August – 28 December 1974, 4 January – 21 June 1975.
Release date 28 May 2020
Now, a few preview pages for you…
Firstly, Yvonne Hutton on art…

And assuming the 1975 Roy strips are by David Sque, some of his artwork to share…


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