Welcome to 'Back Page Rovers'. The objective of
this page is to report on how Roy of the Rovers has and still makes the
headlines after over 50 years in the public eye. This page refers to current
reports and past media coverage. If you are aware of any references for either of the above categories,
please e-mail - it will be greatly appreciated.
latest 'Back Page News', just follow the links below. Roy has been the
focus of numerous newspaper articles, reports on TV and radio. In 1981 when
Penny walked out on him, Roy's personal agent 'Barrie Tomlinson appeared on
BBC TV's Nationwide with presenter Sue Lawley. In 1982 when Roy had been shot
there was a special outside broadcast from the Melchester Rovers ground by
Capital Radio. ATV's Sports Today even ran its own competition to suggest a
replacement Manager for Roy!
Over the years Roy of the Rovers has often made the headlines. So much so,
that courtesy of former editor Barrie Tomlinson, there are now separate
pages available to view for the cuttings from various British and International newspapers.
Please see the links to the left.
In January 1975, non league Sleeford Town knocked out the mighty
Melchester Rovers from the FA Cup. The score was 2-1 with Mervyn Wallace
scoring for the Rovers. This famous win is celebrated by the
Newark Advertiser who cover the matches of Sleaford Town. The link below
takes you to the coverage by the Newark Advertiser.
Top 100 People of the Century to Shape the Game of
In the January 2000 issue of the Match of the Day Magazine, Jonathan
Wilson compiled a dossier of 100 men, women (and a dog no less!) who had
shaped the game, for better or worse in the 20th Century.
Good old Roy was 52nd, beating people such as Terry Venables (72nd),
Geoff Hurst (66th) and Ferenc Puskas (65th). However, it is a little
worrying when Eric Hall (football agent - 45th) and Mark Robins (40th) beat
Roy. Rupert Murdoch was first for his Sky Football coverage, Pele was 2nd
and Lord Justice Taylor 3rd. The write up for Roy is reproduced in the
extract below. The picture of Roy is taken off the Playing Years Book and
was drawn by Mike White.
To read the full extract
from the magazine, just follow the link below.
Melchester Rovers appeared on BBC1 on Saturday 27th November 1999. It was
not Rocky, Declan and Co., but a team of enthusiastic amateurs who go under
the famous name. The programme they appeared on was called "Things Can
Only Get Better", which was presented by Nick Hancock with Match of the
Day's Mark Lawrenson providing critical analysis. This Melchester Rovers
Team had been in existence for 13 years and had never won anything (except
the John Barney Rudge Fair play trophy!") They had not even been
promoted. Nick Hancock described their team name as being appropriate
because "They are comic characters living in a fantasy world; average
age 30, average weight 14 stone!"
However, the 'Things Can Only Get Better' team had three weeks to turn
Melchester into a team of world beaters with the help of the Army, a sports
dietician, team development specialists and professional football coaches
from West Bromwich Albion. A great deal was achieved and even though they
lost the featured game, they went on in true 'Roy of the Rovers' style, the
following week to win their first league game of the season 5-0! Up the
They Think It's All Over
1999 saw the return of the Roy Race cardboard cut-out as it featured on
an episode of "They think its all Over!", as part of the guess the
sportsman round. Obviously Roy's mate Gary Lineker guessed it very quickly!
Fun was also poked at Gary when Nick Hancock revealed the front cover of the
comic when Gary's Hot-Shot comic joined forces with Roy of the Rovers and
the cover featured Gary and Roy shaking hands.
The Final Whistle - News at Ten
They think it's all over was the phrase on the back of the last ever Roy
of the Rovers weekly comic on the 20th March 1993 edition. Trevor McDonald also reported the closure of the
comic on "News at Ten!"
The Frank Skinner Show
Former Melchester player Martin Kemp appeared as one of the guests on the
Frank Skinner show. Frank made a great deal of Martin's time with the Rovers
and referred to extracts from the comic. Martin said he thoroughly enjoyed
his time with Roy and co., and during his contract with them, he couldn't
wait for each week's comic to drop through the letterbox. Apparently
Martin's son has kept all the copies. Frank had even had the strip adapted for
the show to mirror Martin's role as Steve Owen in Eastenders. The rewritten
story referred to Martin hitting Roy over the head with an ashtray and
burying Roy in Epping Forest!
|Martin Kemp on the Frank