To buy a copy of Roy of the Rovers - The Playing Years, signed by author Colin M Jarman,
please click here to email him at Blue Eyed Books for details: availability, condition and cost.


"Everyone has heard of Roy of the Rovers but few know the full history of the incredible comic strip saga which spanned 40 years. For the first time ever, in The Playing Years, we have filled in those gaps of knowledge by providing a complete season-by-season illustrated history of Roy of the Rovers using the original comic strip. It also serves as a testament to all those who worked on the comic for 40 years. If the book helps recapture the Melchester Rovers magic which graced the pages of this marvellous comic strip, then we have achived our goal."
Colin M Jarman & Peter Acton,
Introduction to Roy of the Rovers - The Playing Years

"In 1994, a book entitled Roy of the Rovers - The Playing Years was compiled by Colin M. Jarman and Peter Acton. This impressive tome documented the entire available history of Roy Race's playing career, alternating between press-cutting style summaries and lengthy segments of strips from the original comics, and has long been seen as a vital part of any RotR fan's collection."

"Roy of the Rovers - The Playing Years  - a superb compilation put together using original Comic Strips."

"From his 1954 debut for Melchester reserves to the helicopter crash which ended his career in 1993, generations of fans have thrilled to the prolific goal-scoring exploits of Roy Race - Roy of the Rovers - the king of soccer. Reproducing original comic-strip action first seen in Tiger (1954-1976), and then in Roy of the Rovers, this book provides a season-by-season celebration of the greatest player in the history of the game. This is a book for everyone who ever dreamt of emulating Roy Race, player-manager and captain of Melchester Rovers. As this book reveals, Roy's ultimate achievement was his ability to conjure up victories against seemingly impossible odds with the awesome finishing power of his famous left-foot `rocket'. Winning trophies, league championships and breaking records appeared to be an everyday occurrence for "Racey", although even Melchester Rovers had their occasional off-days."

Racey's Rocket
"Our beloved Roy Race is back after his tragic helicopter accident back in 1993. This book is a real bible for Racey's fans all over the world. It contains the full story from the 50's to the 90's season after season, including full comic pages from the weekly editions of Roy of the Rovers. Of course, as the authors say, it's very difficult to summarise 6,500 pages of comics into a 214 page book. So, they focus on the key matches of every season and all the other facts appear as newspaper reports, match programmes' extracts, radio broadcasts etc. It's a hard work which is done perfectly. The Playing Years is a really great book and it's not only for the full of memories boys and teenagers of the past, but also for the children of today who don't have a real football hero to admire like our Roy. Buy it and you won't regret it. It's worth every penny!" review

Dream of all RotR fans around the world
"One of my beloved comic heroes of past, was the amazing footballer, captain of Melchester Rovers, Roy Race, who's adventures I was reading during the years 1971-83, through the pages of two Greek Magazines. And now, I 've got all this stuff in a great book, a really "comic-bible" for me! The authors have done excellent work, searching for months into the "depths" of the publishing company, to present this wonderfull result!!!
Many, many congratulations, again and again!" review

A booking for Roy of the Rovers
"27 Oct 1994 - A legendary footballer was yesterday immortalised in an official biography.
Roy of the Rovers - The Playing Years, marks the 40th anniversary of the most remarkable star the game has ever seen.
The story began in September 1954, in the first edition of Tiger comic, when schoolboy forward Roy Race was spotted by a scout from Melchester Rovers. Roy went on to become the game's greatest centre-forward, England captain, and the star of his own Roy of the Rovers comic.
The story seemed to have ended last year when comic publishers, faced with declining sales, left Roy critically injured in a helicopter crash. However, Roy re-emerged - in a new monthly comic and minus his left foot - as manager of Italian side AC Monza.
His son, Rocky, remained at Melchester hoping to thrill a new generation of Rovers fans.
'The book is intended to provide a much-needed tribute to Roy Race, whose story has touched the lives of millions of people over the years,' explain authors Peter Acton and Colin Jarman in their introduction."
The Herald Scotland (1994)

"The real biography of Roy Race has already been told in the perfect form - the comic strip - in the excellent Playing Years compendium."

"While at University in Manchester a few years ago, I was in a book shop and stumbled across Roy of the Rovers - The Playing Years (hardback, colour record of the whole thing from start to finish) This was an amazing discovery and helped to make up for losing all the mags. It brought back lots of memories, etc."
Mitchell Kaye on

"It is out of print now, but there is a Roy of the Rovers - The Playing Years book out that covers each season from when it started in the 50's to 1993.
It doesn't have every strip, but includes key games and moments and relives highlights of the season.
I don't care that I am a 'grown-up' now, I want it, I want it, I want it!!!"
Spoff-MFC on Fly Me To The Moon Archive

"I've got the Roy Race Playing Years book! It is a good dash through the history of the guy - but it makes you wonder ... for a guy to have been playing at the top level for so long - what was he taking?!!!"
Fatsuma on Fly Me To The Moon Archive

"Roy Of The Rovers - The Playing Years ... is a must for any ROTR fan as it covers highlights of Roy's career, via reprints from Tiger and Roy Of The Rovers, from his very first season 1954/55 right through to the 1992/93 campaign and that fateful helicopter crash. Think that you can order it from the ROTR website and may still be available in the Shops, just in case anyone's got some
Christmas money or book tokens burning a hole in their pockets!"
E.X. Moontoad on

The Cover Artist
"Mike White drew the Roy of the Rovers story from August 1986 to October 1992. Mike gave Roy a more powerful, muscular look. One of Mike's most popular covers was the cover for the book Roy of the Rovers - The Playing Years."


Published by Queen Anne Press (1994)


roy of the rovers the playing years roy race book evolution
Page 6: "Race Through Time"
The Evolution of a Soccer Legend
Through the eyes of the Top Six Roy artists since 1954 ...
Joe Colquhoun, Paul Trevillion, Yvonne Hutton,
David Sque, Mike White, Barrie Mitchell.

Page 9: "In the Beginning Was the Word ...
and The Word was Race!"

The Schoolboy Years 1951-53

roy of the rovers playing years roy race book 1990
Page 187: "To Buy or Not To Buy...
That is Team Selection"

The 1989-90 Season

Size: 22 x 30 cms
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781852915483 / 185291548X
Authors: Colin M Jarman & Peter Acton
Publisher: Queen Anne Press
Publish Date: 1994

To buy a copy of Roy of the Rovers - The Playing Years,
signed by author Colin M Jarman,
please click here to email him at Blue Eyed Books
for details: availability, condition and cost.
Europe United by Roy RAce & Gary Lineker written by Colin M Jarman

EUROPE UNITED (1992 Mix) Let's Work Together 
Sung by Roy Race & Gary Lineker
Lyrics written by Colin M Jarman 

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