The Comic Connection – No.1 – ‘Scorcher and Score’ – 29th January, 1972

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This is the first in a new series about British Comics that featured the R’s, seemingly long after ‘my time’ of ‘The Valiant’, ‘The Eagle’ and ‘The Victor’. In the beginning it was called ‘Scorcher’ and first appeared on 10th January, 1970. It ran for 77 issues up to 26th June, 1971 before being superseded by an amalgamation with a similar football related comic titled ‘SCORE’.  This merger lasted from 3rd July to 5th October, 1974 and after 171 editions it changed to ‘TIGER and Scorcher’. Finally it became just ‘TIGER’ in 1980. This issue of ‘Scorcher and Score’ is dated 29th January, 1972. The R’s are featured on the front cover as part of the ‘Top Teams’ series:

‘When Queen’s Park Rangers first won promotion from the Third Division in 1948, they had a brilliant goalie, Reg Allen, who was transferred to Manchester United in 1950 for £11,000. Eight years later they transferred another local-born goalie, Ron Springett (shown left), to Sheffield Wednesday for an even bigger fee. He gained 33 England caps before returning home and then he helped the Rangers to rise from Third to First Divisions in two seasons (1966-67; 1967-68). In 1967 the R’s achieved a brilliant “double” – Third Division champions and Football League Cup winners in the first ever League Cup Final played at Wembley. They beat the holders, West Bromwich Albion 3-2, after being two down. A year later they climbed to the First Division. Rodney Marsh (that’s him after scoring at Wembley) was the idol of the fans – and still is. Rangers could not hold their place in the top class for very long and dropped back into the Second Division ! But now, led by Terry Venables (bottom right), former Chelsea and Spurs International, they are determined to return to the First Division.’

The R’s are also featured in the ‘Football Round-Up’ which includes a drawing of Mick Leach:

‘Queen’s Park Rangers are also making a strong promotion bid. They’re pleased that Rodney Marsh is catching Sir Alf Ramsey’s eye at last…..and here is Mick Leach, another of their forwards who’s consistently on the mark…..Rangers visit Luton next Saturday and in fact it was Leach who got the only goal of the match when these teams met at Loftus Road last October. Another win would please Queen’s Park Rangers…’

Elsewhere, the following characters featured:Jack of United – ‘Jack Chelsey played for famous Castleburn United and his brother Jimmy played for their great local rivals, Castleburn City. Jack’s father was in charge of a contract to demolish an old tenement slum and build a multi-storey car park for United on the site. But old Charlie, the last remaining inhabitant of the tumbledown slum, refused to leave, even though he had been offered a far better home in its place. Jack, and United Manager, Eric Mills, were helping to try and make the old man change his mind….’ There was also a spin-off featuring Jack’s brother – ‘Jimmy of City’.

Bobby of the Blues – ‘Bobby Booth was the young, star striker of famous Everpool City, who were nicknamed, “The Blues”, and were playing away to their great rivals Merseaport, in the Third Round of the FA Cup. Before the match, Bobby had become involved in a feud with Merseaport’s Len Mullard….’

Billy’s Boots – ‘Billy Dane found an ancient pair of football boots that used to belong to old-time soccer star “Dead Shot Keen”. In some strange way, the boots enabled him to play in Dead Shot’s style…but without the boots, Billy always lost his confidence. His new Sports Master at Kenwood School thought Billy didn’t try hard enough, and he made him reserve for a second team match. But when Billy did come on to the field, he scored two scorching goals…’

Nipper – ‘Nipper Lawrence was a young orphan who lived with foster-parents in the docks town of Blackport and he had become an apprentice footballer with the local Second Division club, Blackport Rovers. When two of the Blackport players were injured in a coach crash, Nipper was promoted to the First Team for a vital promotion game against Kingsdale. Despite a nervous start, he became a sensation by scoring two amazing goals. But even the Rovers fans were astonished when the Blackport captain, Len Duggan, called up Nipper to take a last minute penalty…’

Brainy’s Bombers – ‘Although useless as a player, Simon Loader Braines – known as “Brainy” to his pals – knew football inside out and had formed a team known as Brainy’s Bombers from his classmates at Lower Poppleton Primary School. One morning, the village Postman was approaching the School on his normal delivery round (singing): “Oh If Oi Were A Wurzel On A Tree…Oi’d Be As ‘Appy As Could Be…Seein’ All That There Is To See…An ‘Askin’ Missy Marigold To Mar-ry Meeeee.”

There’s also a good character called ‘Hugh Fowler – The Man Who Hates Football’, but ‘Spy Between The Sticks’ is a bit more unusual – Sam “Spider Logan” the brilliant, outspoken young goalkeeper who played for Second Division Bentford City…was working for a Secret Service Chief called “The Major”…who had threatened to ruin the city unless Spider became a spy. His first task was to prevent a war in a British Colony, by stealing a fabulous diamond from an auction in Germany, just before the first-leg of Bentford’s first round European knockout Cup match against Denzburg Dynamos. Spider got back in time for the game and, although weary from lack of sleep, he managed to keep the eager Dynamo forwards at bay…’

Lags Eleven – Willie Smith, known to his friends as “Brilliant Genius”, was the greatest villain in Britain. He had been the master-mind behind numerous bank raids, jewel robberies and wage snatches. He was eventually caught and banged up in Bankhurst Prison on a ten-year stretch. So he decides to start up a football team as part of a master plan to escape.

There was also ‘Team of the Week’  and ‘How I Began’ which featured a well known player plus ‘Know-All’, ‘My Favourite Player’ and ‘My Most Memorable Match’ etc etc . Good artwork throughout and at 3.5p, it must of been a good read every Monday.

Steve Russell



5 Responses to The Comic Connection – No.1 – ‘Scorcher and Score’ – 29th January, 1972

  1. Allan Klo says:

    Great article, once again. Always interesting read on this web page.
    Keep it up!

  2. Kerrins says:

    Steve..I had forgotten all about that publication.

    A very interesting article…The young Terry Venables though looks a bit “craggy” and aged in that picture eh?…lol

  3. MeophamNick says:

    Sadly I remember Tiger and Scorcher very well (Although I’m far too young to remember Score Steve you old get!). As I got older it was Shoot! and Football Monthly, before moving onto Razzle obviously. All long gone. Sob…

    Good Stuff Steve

  4. DEREK THOMPSSON says:

    WHAT GREAT MEMORIES. I REMEMBER BUYING THE VERY FIRST AND LAST EDTION OF WHAT MY FAVOURITE COMIC OF ALL TIME. PURCHASING SCORCHER WAS MY SATURDAY MORNING RITUAL. WHEN SCORCHER STARTED THE TEXT STORY WAS THE ”GOAL THEIF” THEN THAT WAS REPLACED BY AS STORY CALLED ” FORWARD FROM ROME. THE STORY ABOUT A HISTORIC DIG ON THE SITE OF A FOOTBALL GROUND AND SOMEHOW A ROMAN GLADIATOR WAS TRANSPORTED THROUGH TIME AND HE BECAME A FOOTBALLER IN THE MODERN AGE. HIS NAME WAS PLEXUS. THE STORY WAS BOTH BRILLIANT AND FUNNY AT THE SAME TIME.
    DOES ANYBODY ELSE HAVE MEMORIES OF THIS FEATURE.

  5. Colin says:

    I can add a bit. There were parallel stories from the start rather than a spin off: Jack of United and Jimmy of City. One was in Scorcher, the other in Score. In a divided family, they had a sister called Pat, a bit of a cartoon babe, who supported United, and a younger brother whose name I don’t remember, and he was a City fan. The first season ended with United winning the league and City the FA Cup, and they ended up merging the stories by having Jack sign for City!

    UUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSSSSSSS


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