Roy of the Rovers to be given out to more than a thousand Swindon children as part of literacy project

By Jamie Hill - 20 November 2018

Arts and CultureFamilyEducation

the National Literacy Trust Hub, known locally as Swindon Stories, is giving out 1,250 new Roy of the Rovers books to children in Swindon.

The legendary British football comic has been rebooted with a brand new story featuring a 16-year old Roy Race as he begins his career in football. The 2018 reboot is published by Rebellion, and the books being given away are Roy of the Rovers: Scouted by Tom Palmer, and Roy of the Rovers: Kick-Off by Rob Williams and Ben Willsher.

The return of Roy of the Rovers has been greeted with enthusiasm across the UK, especially in the football community, where the comic and its central character, Roy Race, are thought of as icons – and which also introduced generations of football fans to reading for pleasure.

This week’s giveaway includes copies of Roy of the Rovers: Scouted, an illustrated novel by celebrated children’s author Tom Palmer, and copies of Roy of the Rovers: Kick-Off, by best-selling comics writer Rob Williams (2000 AD, Suicide Squad) and artist Ben Willsher (2000 AD, Doctor Who Magazine).

The books are being distributed through National Literacy Trust Hubs - areas where the charity works with communities and local partners to tackle low literacy levels that are seriously impacting on people’s lives.

The National Literacy Trust Hubs that will receive books through this giveaway include Swindon, the North Yorkshire Coast, Peterborough, Middlesbrough, Bradford, Nottingham, Hastings, and Stoke-on-Trent.

Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley commented: ‘We’re delighted to be bringing brand new Roy of the Rovers comics and novels to children up and down the country. Over the years Roy was many youngsters’ route into reading, and we often hear from journalists, authors and, of course, footballers, who went on to have careers inspired by the comic. It’s a real pleasure to be bringing the joy of reading – and Roy of the Rovers – to an entirely new generation of readers.”

Jim Sells, Sport and Literacy Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust, commented: “I loved Roy of the Rovers growing up, so I’m delighted that the adventures of Roy Race and Melchester Rovers are back to inspire a whole new generation of children to get reading. We’ve seen firsthand how bringing football into the classroom can level the playing field for children who have fallen behind in their reading, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, where we focus our work.

"We would like to thank Rebellion for their generous support and for enabling us to get these exciting new books into the hands of the children who need them the most in our National Literacy Trust Hubs.”

Rebellion and the National Literacy Trust will be launching an exciting competition for schools in 2019. Teachers can find out more and register their interest in taking part from today here: literacytrust.

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