On this day, 24 January 1981: Jackpot
On this day, 24 January 1981 … a brand new character was announced on the front page of Jackpot. Sporty, who wore a head band and a tracksuit, became a popular lad – transferring over to Buster when the two comics merged in 1982 – as he got into fun japes through the playing of a different sport each week. I noticed a slightly odd comment on Sporty in his Wikipedia entry on the Jackpot page: he is described as ‘one of the first afro-caribbean characters’ (in mainstream British comics, presumably). As the cover of this issue shows, Sporty is not black, and I’ve not found any evidence in later issues of Jackpot or Buster that he would later be rendered as such. The Wikipedia entry is correct in noting that there was another character called Sporty, who wore a tracksuit, in Whizzer and Chips at this time (he was a member of Cheeky’s Krazy Gang who had originiated in Krazy), and he was black, which is perhaps where the confusion arises. A year after Sporty had been dropped from the comic, Buster himself found a new best friend – Delbert, who would appear in virtually every episode of Buster’s own front page strip – who was black and (imaginatively) wore a head band, a tracksuit and was keen on sports, so it is possible that memories of all three characters may have become a bit mixed up in the Wikipedia writer’s memories.