Roy's Season Review: 1978-79
The pressure seemed to be on Roy Race from all sides during the difficult 1978-79 season. After beating the Basran national team in the final of the tournament played during their summer tour of Australia, the Sheik of Basran offered Roy one million pounds to leave Melchester and become manager of his nation’s team. Roy refused, of course, but these Basranians were not prepared to take no for an answer. The Sheikh’s emissary was sent to England to woo him, and undertook what can only be described as a dirty tricks campaign to force Roy to change his mind: Penny and the twins were given a free holiday in the sun, Roy was given a shiny new motor, and the British government was threatened with a hike in oil prices if he continued to refuse the offer. Eventually, a compromise was reached, by which Roy agreed to manage Basran during the following summer’s close season.
The Basranian fuss had a detrimental impact on Melchester’s season, however, and the Rovers were rooted to the bottom of the league for some time until the board decided to remove Roy from the manger’s role – temporarily – and replace him with former boss Ben Galloway. Poor old Ben had rather lost his touch as the guv’nor, but the challenge forced the team to rally and regain their form, leading to Roy’s eventual return to the hot seat. They rescued themselves from relegation, Roy equalled the record for the fastest ever goal from kick-off (four seconds), and the team embarked on a triumphant EUFA Cup campaign, picking up mercurial Spanish winger Paco Diaz along the way. Diaz would have to wait until next season to make his debut, but his arrival caused upset in the Rovers squad as Mervyn Wallace felt his position in the first eleven to be under threat.
Tom Tully wrote the script (in consultation with editor Barrie Tomlinson), and David Sque was the artist.