Images of the new look and fresh faced Roy of the Rovers have been released, ahead of the comic strip’s long-awaited return next month.
Donning his familiar red and yellow kit, Melchester Rovers’ Roy Race has had a contemporary and commercially minded makeover – more than 60 years after first taking to the pitch.
The football superstar made a vivid impression on at least two generations of football-mad children and makes an unlikely comeback as a 16-year-old hot prospect for the BBC’s Match of the Day magazine.
The quintessential British football success story ran from 1954 until 2001 but Oxford-based publisher Rebellion has overseen a redesign.
CEO Jason Kingsley said: “Roy of the Rovers is a legend of British comics, a national icon that has been in the public consciousness since 1954.
“Reimagining a character as beloved as Roy Race is an opportunity that doesn’t come around too often, and we’re delighted to begin the next chapter in Roy of the Rovers history.
“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’s first escapade sees the club take on rivals Tynecaster and Spanish sides Varagosa and Real Santana in the Caridad Cup, a Spanish charity tournament.
Fans will recognise many names from years gone by and the writers, based at their Osney Mead HQ, promise plenty of nods to original players and teams.
Melchester’s first team includes players from various cultural backgrounds to reflect the modern game’s diversity.
Off the pitch, the modern Roy is a part-time carer for his disabled father and an avid user of social media.
The series will run weekly from Tuesday to August 21.
Match of the Day magazine editor Ian Foster said the first publication is perfect timing ahead of the World Cup on June 14.
He added: “From buying the comic as a kid myself in the 80s I know our readers will be really excited to follow the storylines every week.”