On this day, 24 September 1977: Roy of the Rovers
It was a happy first birthday to Roy of the Rovers, editor Barrie Tomlinson and the squad, marking 52 net-shaking issues since Roy first broke away from Tiger to launch his own paper (I looked at the first issue this time last year). Roy of the Rovers was settling into a familiar, successful format which mixed footy-packed strips – mainly a mix of First Division exploits and schoolboy footballing adventures – posters, articles, celebrity features and a strong level of audience engagement (including the ‘Reader of the Year’ competition and ‘Phone Call of the Week’). All credit to Barrie for his tireless and imaginative editorship. He had a gift for making the right calls and knowing his market well, and Roy of the Rovers is a fine example of how to build a comic into a national institution. Barrie’s memoir, Comic Book Hero, has recently been published and you can read a sample chapter of it here.