Oxford

Roy of the Rovers returns after 17 years with new look

Roy Race by Lisa Henke Image copyright Rebellion/Lisa Henke
Image caption Roy of the Rovers will appear in Match of the Day Magazine

A new look version of football comic hero Roy of the Rovers has been unveiled, sporting a younger, more contemporary look.

The escapades of star striker Roy Race - known for his amazing football skills and sense of fair play - were printed in various forms between 1954 and 2001.

The character has been rebooted by Oxford-based publisher Rebellion.

Artist Ben Wilsher said: "It was a real honour [and] a lot of fun to come up with the look of the new Roy."

Image copyright Rebellion/Lisa Henke
Image caption The comic will chart the start of Roy Race's career for the Melchester Rovers youth team

Mr Wilsher, who has also drawn for Doctor Who Magazine, continued: "I wanted to make sure that the history of the character was referenced, from the blonde hair to the jawline, while giving him a contemporary spin.

"Of course, our new Roy is only 16, and in the years to come I'm sure he'll have many a change of haircut - just like the original."

The new stories will chart the start of the player's career for the fictional Melchester Rovers youth team.

Image copyright Rebellion
Image caption The classic comic featured a star striker with amazing football skills
Image copyright Rebellion
Image caption Melchester Rovers' star player was all about fair play

Rebellion, which prints the comic 2000 AD, bought the rights to the character in 2016.

CEO Jason Kingsley OBE said: "Roy of the Rovers is a legend of British comics, a national icon that has been in the public consciousness since 1954.

"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."

Roy of the Rovers will appear in Match of the Day Magazine from June to August, and in a series of graphic novels from September.

Image copyright Rebellion
Image caption A weekly publication showcased Britain’s most famous comic footballer from 1976 to 1995

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