The story of Andy Steel, a wonderkid who signs for Millside City at age 15.


Started out in Victor in 1986, and ran for seven years until the comics demise in 1993. Continued in FPSM series until 2001.


The daddy of them all. Started out in the tiger series in 1954, then had his own comic in 1976 until 1993. Story continued in MoTD magazine until 2001.


As popular as much as it was under rated. Started out in Champ in 1984, then run in Victor and in FPSM until 2001.


If ever two characters should have been given their own regular strip, it was these two. Only ever appeared in the FPSM series.


Issue 2 centres on Roy waking up from the coma, and how his family copes with the issue of him having to lose his left foot due to complications. At Melchester Rovers, the directors have a meeting with Blackie to discuss the recent run of poor results, and the upcoming make or break European game against AC Gironde.
The players meanwhile are still voicing their concerns at the appointment of Blackie as manager, and there is trouble brewing between Johnny Dexter and Derek 'Mozzie' Mostin.
On the pitch Rovers take to the field to play their crunch tie against French champions Gironde, can they get the needed win to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions league?

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When Roy broke through into the Melchester Rovers first team in 1955, LEN DOLLAND had the goalkeepers jersey. It is unclear when Dolland took over the regular slot and from whom he took it over, it was never mentioned in any of the comics. Dolland remained a mainstay in the team until 1958, when Rovers legend TUBBY MORTON would take over his place. Morton was signed from Tranbridge United. Unclear as to why Dolland lost his place, but Morton took over from him at the start of the season. Dolland did have the consolation of being part of the championship winning team in 1957/58.

Tubby's first game was against Bamford Athletic, and his inexperience soon showed as he conceded two soft goals. Converted from centre half Tubby was trying to har to impress, and a rout appeared to be on the cards, however Morton regained his confidence and this saw a change in fortune for the Rovers as they fought to go ahead 3-2. However Blackie Gray scored an own goal in the dying minutes of the game that meant Morton's debut was not a winning one.

Although Morton had not been convincing in his debut he remained the regular number one goalkeeper until 1973. During that time he would win 4 League titles, 5 FA Cups, 3 European Cups, 1 European Cup Winners Cup, and 2 World Club Cups. His place would never be really threatened, there were pretenders to his throne in the shape of REG SCOTT, PETER BAKER AND CHARLIE CARTER to name but a few, but it was not until Carter came along that Morton's place was challenged.

At the start of the '73 season Morton was injured, back up keeper Baker had broken his leg so it paved th way for wannabe pop star Carter to come in and take over the regular slot. The rest they say is history. Carter would remain a mainstay until his position became challenged in 1985 by the superstitious ANDY STYLES. There were games where Carter did not play and replacements had to be found. TERRY VENNER was one such replacement in 1976/77 when Carter had went through a confidence crisis, however Roy stayed with Carter and although they went out the League Cup to Swinford, Carter had his confidence back. Another goalie to be mentioned as back up to Carter was Tubby Morton. He had taken over the reserve squad after long term injury and Carter had curtailed his ability to play, but he made a comeback in 1977, to replace Carter in a match v Sandford. SANDY EVANS, an eighteen year old in 1980, would replace an injured Carter for a European match v Heklavik, however his blunde meant the part time Icelander's knocked Rovers out.

Another was WALTER WILLIAMS who played in goal after Charlie again had a confidence issue. He played at seventeen against arch rivals Meldboro, who had a newly signed Geoff Giles in their ranks at the time. Walter was also listed as being an England youth international at the time. He lost his debut 2-1 to Meldboro, but remained in goal for a 2-2 draw with Carford the following game. A match also notable for Nat Gosden's debut game. Williams would not appear again until the beginning of the 1982/83 season, when Carter broke his collarbone. Williams however would only play one match, as veteran goalkeeper TUBBY MORTON reappeared from retirement as cover for the injured Carter. Morton was the cause of unrest when Roy refused to let him retire to his sports shop when Carter returned from injury in early 1983, it would eventually be one of the reasons that would result in Roy leaving the club to join Walford Rovers.

Williams had to play in place of Carter in the 1984 League Cup Final, when Carter was injured in the league match v Holverton just before the final.

When Carter was again injured and the Williams went down injured, we were introduced to ANDY 'STREAKY' STYLES. He had signed for Rovers at the end of 1984, after a period playing in the North American Soccer League. We first saw him when he played in a youth match at the start of 1985.


By the time that the MoTD magazine came to an end in 2001, the Rovers were coming to the end of their season. They were chasing Champions League qualification, and were needing the revenue from that competition so that Diana and Roy could complete their takeover of the Rovers from the Vinter Brothers. Not a lot was known about the Rovers of 2000, as the script did not allow for much detail to be given about the players. We take a look at the squad of Melchester Rovers as they entered the new millenium.

Goalkeeper Age:27
One of Roy's first signings when he returned to the club from AC Monza in Italy. Spotted when he played a blinder for Gatesfield against the Rovers, who were desperate for a win that day, but Jeff defied them with save after save. Gatesfield were happy to let him go, and he has been a Rovers stalwart ever since. Big and brave, Roy has likened him to all time great Charlie Carter.

Goalkeeper Age:20
The number 2 at the club. A giant between the sticks standing at an impressive 6ft 6ins - with hands like shovels. Has plenty of agility. If he progresses as expected he will be pushing Jeff Cooper for his place before too long. Made his debut for the club in the Champions League against Vrayonne Rapide in 2000-01..

Defender Age:24
Dino arrived at Melchester from AC Monza, Roy's former club. He arrived at Melchester in 1999. Roy had given Marcello his debut for Monza, so Roy knew he was a classy performer and what he was getting. His tackling and distribution are excellent, certainly better than his english. Prone to some bemusing comments, when Rovers ended a recent poor run, he said "the light at the end of the tunnel is switched on again"

Defender Age:33
The only player left on the books from Roy's playing days. This guy just seems to keep going and going. Very much part of the furniture, having originally come through the youth ranks. Is now the club captain and has modified his game from being a marauding full back to astute centre back. Does have a temper and an attitude, but that is what makes him such a great leader of the team.

Defender Age:34
Andy was signed from Carford City in 1998. Rovers were languishing in the Championship, and being a very young side were desperate for someone who could add much needed experience and stability at the back. Roy again knew what he was getting when he signed Andy, having played against him in his playing days, albeit Andy had mre hair back then.

Defender Age:20
All the attributes of a defender and all the skills of a midfielder, a talented mixture. Brought up from the youth team due to injuries and has never looked back. Very much a case of if your good enough your old enough. Has learnt from the old heads of Steve and Andy and has bailed out the expeienced heads on occasions with his lightning pace.

Wing Back Age:22
Roy saw Anton playing for the Nrway u-21's and started negotiations right after the game. Great first touch and technique and as fit as the proverbial butchers dog, so the demanding role of wing back is no problem to him. Has been found out on occasion defensivelybut he continues t work hard on his game to improve.

Wing Back Age:24
Ritchie is another who has come through the ranks at the club. A very athletic, left sided player, he is fast improving. Has all the defensive qualities required and can run all day. With qualities like that hes an ideal wing back. Easy going lad who seems to get on with everyone in the team.

Defender Age:21
One of Rover's most recent signing, David joined the club from Stockley Town of League One. Good in the air, and an excellent tackler he is very sound defensively, Work required on his distribution and his cavalier style, so that he joins the attack effectively and at the correct times.

Midfield Age:23
Recommended to Roy by former Rovers star Olaf 'Olly' Olsen, who is now asst manager to the Danish national team. Per was signed on a free transfer at the start of the season. Clever on the ball, but not the hardest worker off it. If this apect can be improved upon then he might develop into a useful squad member.

Midfield Age:26
Mister Reliability. A midfield enforcer who gives the team a real bite. Likes a tackle, but also can use the ball well once he has it. Transferred in from Railford Town in League Two, but has really developed and improved quickly to play at the higher level.

Midfield Age:24
An unsung, uncomplicated, workmanlike player who just gets on with the task at hand.Chips in with the odd goal or two, but could score more if he was to put his mind to it. However the graft he does for the team is what makes him stand out from the crowd..

Midfield Age:17
Raw and very young, but what an incerdible talent. Two footed, with pace to burn, and technically gifted beyond belief.Still has an incredible amount to learn about the game, but definately 'one for the future'. Found by former Rovers star and manager Blackie Gray, who recommended that Rovers secure his signature.

Forward Age:27
A player who Rovers took a gamble on when they signed him from non-league football. At the time he looked awkward and his technique required a lot of work, but Rovers spotted his hunger and desire, not only to win but to score goals. He has worked tirelessly to improve and is now reaping the rewards.

Forward Age:19
A quick silver jack in the box style forward who scored a hatful of goals in the reserves last season. Has yet to make his first team debut, but is he progresses as he has been over the last few months, then it can only be a matter of time before he breaks through.

Forward Age:22
What can be said about this guy that has not already been said? Signed back from arch rivals Meldboro, and has helped Rovers get back to their best by creating good partnerships with Templeton and McCaffree. More stories to be written about him I am sure, but for now he is scoring and playing well.

Forward Age:18
Had a couple of run outs with the first team, and scored, but did little to endear himself to Roy or Meldboro fans, when he decided to flash a tshirt at the Meldboro fans, causing an uproar in the process. Sold to Johnny Dexter's Castlemere quickly after.

Midfield Age:22
Brought through the youth ranks, and was the main creative force in the Rovers midfield. Excellent on the ball, but needs to impose himself on games more. Unfortunately had to be sold to raise money for the club to stay afloat financially.

Forward Age:23
Kid has it all, pace to burn, quick thinking and technically gifted. Unfortunately sold to Meldboro as part of the deal that brought back Roy Race Jr to the club.


Britishness is hard to define. It took Danny Boyle, the man behind the Olympic opening ceremony, two hours, 800 nurses and a heck of a lot of fireworks to define it. Some would argue he could have encapsulated it in two comics: the Beano and the Dandy.

Goofy, rude and cheeky, stuffed with bad gags, custard pies and a din of interjections – Thwack! Twang! Zoink! Glug! – these comic books are a mini-riot printed on shoddy paper. The theme is that continual theme of British history, rebellion against authority (except the tyrant is not King John or Charles I, but the teacher and the parent). And the protagonists are understatedly British: no superheroes here, just a bunch of snotty schoolboys.

These comics formed a huge part in many kids’ schooldays. The modern British ritual was not to go to church, but to buy the Beano. The Dandy sold 2m copies in the 1950s. The comic strips are still lodged in the national memory. The satirical magazine Private Eye – a sort of Beano for adults – runs a fortnightly strip called “Dave Snooty”, in which David Cameron is cast as the Beano character Lord Snooty. The mayor of London Boris Johnson is often accused of speaking in Beano-isms (“Cripes”, “Golly” and what-not).

So it was sad that the Dandy admitted recently that it was wavering over whether to close. Sales today are a quarter of what they were in 2007. The circulation is just over 7,000 today. There are about 500 subscribers in all, enough to fit into a medium-sized playground. The Beano, owned by the same publisher, is more popular but shows similar signs of decline. Circulation has halved since 2007; it was 38,000 in 2011.

Most children’s magazines are taking a hit because of the recession. It seems when parents’ incomes are squeezed, less money is spent on them. But the decline in British comics goes back farther than the present downturn. The Beano’s circulation was a “six-figure” number in 2003.

Fifty years ago, football hero Roy Race first turned out for Melchester Rovers, and although the ace striker hung up his shooting boots some years ago, the legend lives on.

Kidnappings, a shooting and the saxophone player from Spandau Ballet: forget about the football, Roy of the Rovers encompassed far more. Long before the Footballer’s Wives scriptwriters started work on a soccer soap opera, the creators of Roy of the Rovers realised the value of mixing football with melodrama.

If anything, its plots were more outrageous. Take the time the Rovers were kidnapped by Fidel Castro lookalikes before the 1964 World Club Cup final in South America. They escape and 48 sleepless hours later they’re one-nil down at half-time. Fortunately, in the absence of modern performance-enhancer nandrolone, they get hold of a local narcotic, “Carioca Juice”, and recover to win 2-1 with a trademark Roy Race bicycle kick. Still, that’s not quite as ridiculous as winning the 1986 Milk Cup with a line-up including Bob Wilson, Emlyn Hughes, and Martin Kemp and Steve Norman from Spandau Ballet.

Roy of the Rovers started in the first issue of Tiger on September 11 1954 and became a comic in its own right in 1976. Although the bastardised name encourages many to associate Roy’s team, Melchester Rovers, with Manchester United, rumour has it that Tiger editor Derek Birnage and the original scriptwriter Frank Pepper actually modelled the Rovers on the Arsenal team of the 50s. Roy himself was based on nobody.

Roy Race, The Beano & Dandy are just the first in a long line of characters and stories that are fondly remembered. DC Thomson had their own attempt at recreating the success of Melchester Rovers, when they created a storyline called ‘We Are United’, that first appeared in the Champ comic in 1984. The story was then integrated into the popular Victor comic one year later and ultimately became a success in the companies attempt at creating a monthly comic entitled Football Picture Monthly.

Jon Stark arrived on the football scene in the late 1970s, a prolific striker who played for numerous clubs in England and abroad on a nomadic career path motivated entirely by money. A self-styled ‘Matchwinner for Hire’, his terms of service were set out on his business card: ‘£1,000 per match plus £250 per goal, no payment for lost games.’ Playing for different clubs every week, wherever the promise of payment took him, Stark was the ultimate football mercenary. He was, of course, entirely fictional – a comic book character created against the backdrop of a real-life transfer revolution under the strapline: ‘Meet the Footballer of the Future…’

Stark first appeared in the debut issue of Scoop comic (15p every Thursday) in January 1978. Stone Orient were rock bottom of the second division after three consecutive defeats. A cup match against top-flight Belmoor saw the club turn to Stark, who told them, ‘Play me against Belmoor and I’ll guarantee you victory for £1,000 plus £250 for every goal I score. If we get beaten, you pay me nothing.’

There were numerous other characters that appeared in various different comics, Hot shot Hamish, Billy Dane, Limp Along Leslie, Nipper, to name but a few, who are forever fondly remembered by the youth of that era, but our bond to these heroes goes further than football or the anarchy of the Beano & Dandy; for; invariably we loved the comics for what they were.

Who can forget the excitement on hearing the clank of the letterbox and plop of our favourite comic hitting the doormat, or visiting the local newsagents and seeing the latest issue sitting on the shelf, screaming out at us, usually having to forego our regular treat of a sweet, so that our parents would buy the latest issue.

All of us whether children or adults, enjoy some leisure reading. It is a retreat from the serious business of living which can be recreational in the true meaning of the word: the retreat can create us again. Complex situations can be pictorially presented in ways beyond the reach of words. If the subject is interesting enough to us, we gaze at the picture while silently relating our own experiences to it. Children of all ages enjoy a good story, whether it is inspired, exciting or funny, through the vivid medium of a cartoon. What would become boring and dull through the telling of the story in written format, becomes more entertaining through a brilliant picture.

The Comics Campaign Council estimated that, in the 50's, 350 million comics were sold anually in Britain. Today, that market has shrunk drastically and the boys football paper in particular is all but extinct. But forget about the present; indulge yourself in these pages and glory in the past trimuphs of these comics. I fervently hope the story of your comic book character is related here. Unfortunately my own collection only centres around the likes of Roy of the Rovers, We Are United, and the Football Picture Monthly, so unfortunately the prominence of this comic site will be based more around football based stories than the likes of the wartime stories told in the likes of Battle and Victor or sci-fi as was depicted in Eagle. Do not let that deter you, what is here should be enough to hold your interest and also let you see how alluring comics can be. If nothing else revel in the history of these comics, because they are becoming more and more rare as people clear out their attics and sheds. They wont always be available on ebay.


I have decided with the melchester storyline to begin with a continuation from the crash, rather than continuing it from the end of the MoTD era. Personally I feel there is to many unanswered questions from the helicopter crash. The RoTR monthlies although an official continuation of the magazine, left the reader with more questions than answers.

What happened to Blackie? Where did Terry Spring go? When did Johnny Dexter retire? to name but a few. I hope within the realms of the upcoming issues to answer a few of those questions, and to maybe create a new version of events for Roy Race, his family, and Melchester Rovers.

Because I am no artist, and it means using images from the original comics, and editing them, I have decided each issue to create a cover and then create the images inside in black and white. Each issue will have around 4-5 pages of material, detailing the events after the helicopter crash, and what happened to Melchester Rovers in the years from 1993 until MoTD began in 1997.

Issue One looks at the three months after the crash, how Roy's family are coping and how Melchester Rovers have faired since Roy fell into a coma.

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