The Comic Connection – No.11 – Roy of the Rovers – 17th December 1977

‘Roy of the Rovers’ has previously been featured four times so far in this series and this edition is dated 17th December 1977. QPR v Nottm. Forest was the ‘Big Action’ on the back page and the caption reads: ‘This exciting aerial action at Loftus Road shows Forest’s Kenny Burns and Dave Needham of QPR leaping for a high ball. We don’t know who won this tussle but Forest finally won 2-0’.

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First up is ‘Mike’s Mini Men’ – Mike Dailey had forced a draw against Sue Wood, a rival football champion, despite having injured his right hand. Mike played heroically with his left, but was hoping that he’d be completely fit for the replay. Now, at his home

‘The Football’ – Terry Jackson was the new owner of the football. But when Terry’s father discovered his son owned a football he ordered him to stop playing soccer, as it was “a hooligan’s game”.

This is followed, in colour, by ‘Roy of the Rovers’ – Thanks to the efforts of player-manager Roy Race, Melchester Rovers held the distinction of being the only club in the league which was almost totally free of football hooliganism. Now, as the Rovers loosened up for an away game against Burndean, just before Christmas

‘The Safest Hands in Soccer’ – Gordon Stewart, brilliant young goalkeeper of Tynefield City, had badly bruised a hand in a Second Division league match and was told he would miss at least two games, both of them important. So he put his faith in an old gypsy, who treated the hand with a thick, evil smelling mixture, then

Next is ‘The Hard Man’ – Johnny Dexter, known as ‘The hard Man’, had joined a Spanish club, Real Granpala. After renting a new flat in Spain, Johnny went to a local furniture store, where he was seen by two fans of his previous club, Danefield United, who were on holiday in Spain

‘Tommy’s Troubles’ – Tommy Barnes and his pal, Ginger Collins, went to a school where they played rugger onlyso Tommy and Ginger formed their own soccer team and called themselves Barnes United. To raise money to pay the rent on a Council pitch, they held a jumble saleand accidently sold a lady’s expensive fur coat

qpr roy of the rovers 2‘Simon’s Secret’ – Simon Benson played for Westlake School’s third eleven, although he was not very good at football. Then he had an accident and was given ‘implants’ in his left leg, right hand and ear and became the first ‘bionic’ boy. The ‘implants’ gave him more power in his left leg and he was chosen to play with the second teambut he had a fall and his left leg seemed to lose its power

Last up is the latest instalment of ‘Smith & Son’ – Barry Smith and his son Danny were the managerial team that ran Third Division club Grandon Town. The club had signed a new centre-half, Keith Bassett, in time for their vital Fourth Round League Cup tie away to mighty Thamesmeade. But Bassett had needed some tough talk from Barry at half-time to make him play as the member of the team. Late in the second-half, with Grandon trailing 1-0

There is also an advert for a football game called ‘Chart Soccer’ by LOGacta. It cost ¬£4.50, including postage and packing, and is described as ‘a system of charts, dice, and cards used to organise true to life league and cup competitions for British clubs plus the European International Championships and the World Cup finals’.

Steve Russell