Tag Archives: roy

Gary Neville backed by Sky and FA after Richard Keys attack

FA and Sky back Neville after former host Keys accuses pundit of having an agenda

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England expects: Neville is part of Roy Hodgson's staff, and was at Euro 2012

He faced criticism yesterday from England goalkeeping legend Gordon Banks, who said: 'I was very upset to hear Gary Neville talking about how the players were disgusted with him (De Gea), how they were looking at him after he hadn't punched the ball quite clear. I thought, “Hang on a minute, everybody makes mistakes in matches”.

'I found it a bit strange that he (Neville) was saying they'd go back in the dressing room and give De Gea a telling-off.'

Kenny Dalglish lined up for Liverpool return

Liverpool line up offer to bring King Kenny back to Anfield – as an ambassador

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

00:04 GMT, 10 January 2013

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UPDATED:

09:43 GMT, 10 January 2013

Liverpool are hoping to lure Anfield legend Kenny Dalglish back in an ambassadorial role.

Dalglish was sacked in May following an 18-month spell as boss, having taken over from Roy Hodgson in January 2011.

Although Dalglish took up a similar position before his appointment as manager – and was involved in the club's academy – it is unclear whether he would be open to the idea of a return.

Tempted Kenny Dalglish could be on his way back to Anfield as an ambassador

Tempted Kenny Dalglish could be on his way back to Anfield as an ambassador

Since being replaced by former Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers, the 61-year-old has only been to Anfield once this season to watch Liverpool in action.

Dalglish, who played more than 350 times for the club, has always been held in high esteem by the supporters.

And Liverpool are keen for him to help attract lucrative sponsorship deals, according to the Daily Telegraph.

After his departure last summer, Dalglish gave the impression that he was warm to the idea of returning to Liverpool.

He said at the time: 'I said when first approached about coming back as manager that I would always be of help if I can at any time and that offer remains the same.'

Liverpool owner John W Henry also hinted he would have his former manager back, describing Dalglish as 'part of the family'.

New boy: Brendan Rodgers (right) took over from Dalglish (left) last summer

New boy: Brendan Rodgers (right) took over from Dalglish (left) last summer

Roy of the Rovers – Melchester Rovers relaunched online comic

EXCLUSIVE: The Rovers Return! Iconic comic book hero Roy Race relaunched online… and Sportsmail has the first look

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UPDATED:

15:17 GMT, 17 December 2012

'89 minutes gone in the Cup final, we're deadlocked at one-all and heading for extra time here at Wembley. But wait, here come Melchester Rovers again…Noel Baxter has it on the wing and the crowd roars him on. Inside to Lofty Peak and the Scot heads it on to Blackie Gray! He’s looking for options and suddenly there’s Race! Race gets the ball, he lines up to shoot. AND it’s there! Roy Race wins the Cup for Melchester!’

For a generation of football fans, those words and names will have just brought back a flood of memories.

Thousands up and down the country followed the fortunes of comic strip creation Melchester Rovers as closely as their own team for years and years. The fantastical character of Roy Race – that phenomenal goal machine with his flowing blonde locks – drew as much respect and wonder as real life players.

Comic book hero: Thousands of football fans up and down the country followed the fortunes of Roy Race and Melchester United in the weekly Roy of the Rovers comic strips

Comic book hero: Thousands of football fans up and down the country followed the fortunes of Roy Race and Melchester United in the weekly Roy of the Rovers comic strips

Front cover of Tiger (13 April 1963 edition), featuring Roy of the Rovers drawn by Paul Trevillion

Front cover of Tiger (13 April 1963 edition), featuring Roy of the Rovers drawn by Paul Trevillion

All Imagery
2012 Egmont UK Ltd. Roy of the Rovers

For nearly 50 years, schoolboys would save up their pocket money and rush down to the newsagent to grab the latest issue of ‘Roy of the Rovers’ – an extraordinary work of riveting football fiction.

There was never a dull moment – when they were not being kidnapped by rebel militias in the South American jungle on their pre-season tour or fighting strife in the boardroom, Melchester managed to win three European Cups, ten FA Cups and ten league championships!

Race enjoyed a 40-year playing career, all but one year of which was with Melchester, and scored an incredible 481 goals (by rough calculations) for his clubs and 52 for England – though he never graced a World Cup or European Championships as injury always seemed to get in the way.

It was boy’s own stuff every week – a cavalcade of hat-tricks, last-gasp victories and shiny silverware. This was what playground footballers always dreamt of issued weekly in a flash of red and gold coloured ink.

The Roy of the Rovers comic strip in its last guise folded in 2001 but in an age when players like Lionel Messi seem like an incarnation of Roy Race, his spirit lives on in the hyperbole of commentators (‘It’s Roy of the Rovers stuff here!’), the old editions gathering dust in many attics, and now in an online archive accessible on your iPad and other forms.

Roy scores again in the 21st century as part of a release of classic comics by Egmont UK this year. Five volumes of Roy of the Rovers comics from the seventies and eighties are available at the moment through the iBook store on Apple’s iPad tablet.

What’s more, you can see a sample of five pages beneath this article. There’s also a new range of merchandise out just in time for Christmas at Marks and Spencer.

Comic book hero Roy Race

Roy OF the Rovers - Come On England

Goal machine: Roy Race had a phenomenal record of 481 club and 52 international goals in his 40-year playing career, but he never had the opportunity to represent England at a major tournament owing to injury

THE MELCHESTER TROPHY CABINET

Division One Champions – 1931, 1932, 1933, 1951, 1958, 1960, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1977, 1980, 1988, 1992

Division One Play-Off Winners – 1998

Division Two Champions – 1903, 1982

FA Cup – 1907, 1934, 1937, 1938, 1947, 1953, 1959, 1961, 1966, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1984, 1990, 1999

League Cup – 1974, 1986, 1987

European Cup – 1964, 1969, 1973

European Cup Winners’ Cup – 1967, 1971, 1975, 1985

UEFA Cup – 1979

Fans will be able to re-live in high resolution glory all the epic matches and captivating storylines of the original. The team’s disappearance in the depths of the South American jungle in 1960 when their aircraft was shot by rebel forces fighting a bloody civil war.

The extraordinary deja-vu in 1964 when the Rovers were captured by bandits near Bogota in Columbia, only to later escape on horseback. The drama of 1981 when Roy, by then Melchester player-manager, was gunned down in his office by a disgruntled actor who played him on TV.

The collapse of Roy’s marriage to Penny Laine in the early eighties and his sensational move to rivals Walford Rovers after falling out with the board in 1983.

The tragedy of eight squad members being killed by terrorists in war-torn Basran in the late eighties, Roy’s retirement from Melchester live on Sky Sports in 1992 and the helicopter crash that ended his career the following year.

There was also the emergence of Roy ‘Rocky’ Race, his son, in the nineties – if anything, an every hotter goalscoring prospect.

What endeared the comic to so many was its synchronisation with the real world of football. The plot ran in tandem with the football season, with the drama gradually building to a crescendo as May grew nearer. Inevitably, Melchester always found themselves challenging for honours or trying to escape relegation.

Tiger Book of Roy of the Rovers 1960

Roy of the Rovers Annual 1980 Cover

Stocking fillers: A Roy of the Rovers annual would always be a delight to unwrap on Christmas morning

Mighty Melchester! An early Rovers line-up

Mighty Melchester! An early Rovers line-up

It was a comic strip that could be enjoyed by the whole family and shared with friends, while it also took a ballsy stand against issues of the age such as hooliganism.

‘People who treasure our national game don’t want you! I don’t want you!’ screamed Roy at the thugs in 1990.

The story spawned a whole roster of teammates – Roy’s great friend and strike partner Blackie Gray and uncompromising Scottish midfielder Lofty Peak. There were even some real stars – Bob Wilson and Emlyn Hughes came out of retirement to play for Melchester in 1985, while Sir Alf Ramsey took over as manager when Roy fell into a coma.

But more than anything, the adventures of Roy and his pals showed football at its best – captivating, unpredictable and so very often, simply fantastic.

The Roy of the Rovers archive can be downloaded for iPad via the iBooks store now. A new range of Roy of the Rovers-related merchandise, including Blow Football, Table Football, wallet and keyring, can be bought via Marks and Spencer here.

A TIMELINE OF ROY OF THE ROVERS

1954 – First appearance of Roy of the Rovers on September 11, as a feature in the comic Tiger

1960 – The Melchester Rovers team disappeared when their aircraft was shot by rebel forces in a South American civil war

1964 – The squad is kidnapped near Bogota and has to escape on horseback

1968 – Roy Race breaks the club’s 30-year club record with his 300th goal

1976 – Roy of the Rovers starts up as a separate comic with the first edition released on September 25. It runs for 853 issues, until March 20, 1993

1978 – Race stands in as England manager for a friendly with Holland after the national team boss is injured in a car crash

1981 – Roy is gunned down in his office by a mystery assassin. It later turns out to be a disgruntled actor who played him on TV

Early 1980s – Roy’s wife Penny leaves him, in a storyline covered by national news

1985 – Former stars Bob Wilson and Emlyn Hughes come out of retirement to play for Melchester. Martin Kemp and Steve Norman, of the pop group Spandau Ballet, join the board in the same year. Eight members of the Melchester team are killed in a bungled act of terrorism in war-torn Basran.

1992 – Roy sensationally quits Melchester on Sky Sports

1993 – Re-launches as a monthly comic with grittier storylines aimed at teenage readers. Roy’s playing days are ended after nearly 40 years when he loses control of his helicopter and crashes into a field

1997 – Final home for the comic is Match of the Day magazine – until 2001

2012 – Roy of the Rovers archive launched for iPad

EXCLUSIVE: Enjoy our sample of the new Roy of the Rovers archive…

Roy of the Rovers - Page One

Enlarge

Roy of the Rovers sample 2

Roy of the Rovers sample 3

Roy of the Rovers sample 4

Roy of the Rovers sample 5

2012 Egmont UK Ltd. Roy of the Rovers

Ryan Shawcross: I want to become England regular

I'm here to stay! Shawcross wants regular England berth… despite wait for first cap

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UPDATED:

13:57 GMT, 13 November 2012

Ryan Shawcross was always confident he had what it took to get into the England squad, but now he hopes to prove he has what it takes to stay there.

Shawcross earned his third call-up to the national team for tomorrow’s friendly with Sweden and he will win his first cap if Roy Hodgson opts to give him a run-out in Stockholm.

Although he has yet to feature for the senior team, the Stoke defender admits he is starting to feel comfortable in the England set-up and is now looking to become a permanent feature at international level.

England hopeful: Shawcross has now been included in three squads

England hopeful: Shawcross has now been included in three squads

He told FATV: 'It’s always good to come away with the national team and now I’ve been a few times I’m starting to feel at home.

'If you're playing well, you get noticed. At Stoke last year, we played in Europe and that got us a few headlines.

'On a personal note, if I’m doing okay and being consistent, then I always felt that I had enough to hopefully break into the England squad and luckily enough I have done, so I want to stay in it.

'There’s a lot of experienced players ahead of me and it's up to me to perform well in training. Hopefully I can play well when I get a chance.'

The 25-year-old, who was handed his first call-up by Fabio Capello in 2010, could have had the opportunity to represent Wales but insisted chose England.

'When I was a schoolboy, I played for Wales because I went to school in Wales but when I turned 16, there was a rule that said I couldn’t play for Wales,' he said.

'But in recent months, that rule changed and I could play for Wales again. But I decided years ago I wanted to play for England and I spoke to Chris Coleman, and Gary Speed before that, and made it clear that I wanted to play for England, so there was never any choice really.'

Friendly fire: Gerrard will secure his 100th cap when he plays against Sweden

Friendly fire: Gerrard will secure his 100th cap when he plays against Sweden

Wilfried Zaha stalls over England future

Zaha continues to stall over England future despite being set for debut in Sweden

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UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 12 November 2012

Stalling: Zaha

Stalling: Zaha

Wilfried Zaha is refusing to commit himself to England, even though he is expected to make his debut in Sweden on Wednesday night.

The Crystal Palace winger, called up by England chief Roy Hodgson on Sunday, is also eligible to play for the Ivory Coast and he describes his position as ‘50-50 at the moment’.

Zaha, 20, excelled in his first training session with the senior team on Tuesday and has been told he will play a part, probably as a substitute, in Stockholm.

Although Wednesday’s clash against Sweden is FIFA recognised, it is classed as ‘non-competitive’ so he could still switch allegiance.

Zaha was born in Abidjan and the Palace forward’s parents, along with his large family, are also from the Ivory Coast.

He has been offered the chance to play in the Africa Cup of Nations in January and is refusing to rule it out, despite his call-up by England.

Zaha said: ‘I was born in the Ivory Coast but all I know is England. It’s 50-50 at the moment.

Stellar season: Zaha has starred for Crystal Palace in the Championship

Stellar season: Zaha has starred for Crystal Palace in the Championship

Fast-track: Zaha only made his Under 21 debut in February

Fast-track: Zaha only made his Under 21 debut in February

‘Didier Drogba called me and I was shocked, to be honest. He’s a humble guy.

‘I’ve been with England Under 21s and now I will have to make a decision.’

Zaha has represented England at Under 17, Under 19 and Under 21 level.

The Palace winger is the outstanding prospect in the Championship and is wanted by all the top teams in the Barclays Premier League.

England’s next competitive fixture is the World Cup qualifier against San Marino on March 12. If Zaha plays then, he will no longer be eligible for the country of his birth.

However, the Ivory Coast’s first game in the Africa Cup of Nations is on January 22 against Togo in South Africa. Zaha was initially reluctant to join up with the England squad over fears he might have to make a final decision over his allegiance.

However, after being assured he could still choose to play for the Ivory Coast, he joined up with Hodgson’s squad.

Meanwhile, captain Steven Gerrard has been cleared to travel to Sweden to win his 100th cap after a scan on a knee injury suffered against Chelsea on Sunday.

Roy Hodgson ready to pick Jack Wilshere

Hodgson ready to disobey Wenger and pick Arsenal's Wilshere for Sweden clash

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UPDATED:

23:19 GMT, 7 November 2012

Roy Hodgson is set to defy Arsene Wenger on Thursday by naming Jack Wilshere in his squad to face Sweden next Wednesday.

The Arsenal midfielder has played only three first-team games since returning from 15 months out with ankle, foot and knee problems.

Wenger recently warned Hodgson against picking his 20-year-old midfielder for the friendly in Stockholm.

I want you: Roy Hodgson is ready to pick Jack Wilshere again after his injury

I want you: Roy Hodgson is ready to pick Jack Wilshere again after his injury

'Jack should skip that,' said Wenger after their 1-0 win over QPR last month.

'What is important now is that he gets back to full fitness for this team. Once he is back he will play for England again.'

But having identified the 20-year-old as a key figure, Hodgson is keen to work with Wilshere as soon as possible.

Although admitting he cannot wait to pull on an England jersey again, Wilshere took a diplomatic view of his potential selection.

He said: 'It's up to the England manager and I'm sure he will speak to the boss here and they'll decide what's best for me.

'If they want me to play, I'll play. But if they decide it's best to rest then I'll rest.'

Wilshere has a long way to go to recapture the form that made him such an exciting prospect before his injury.

'You wonder whether you can come back to the level you were at before,' said the young midfielder. 'I feel better as the weeks go on.'

Long road: Wilshere (left) has some ground to make up after a lengthy layoff

Long road: Wilshere (left) has some ground to make up after a lengthy layoff

Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson set for England debut after FA lodge paperwork

Arsenal defender Jenkinson set for England debut after FA lodge paperwork

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UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 26 October 2012

England have submitted the paperwork to
transfer Carl Jenkinson's international
allegiance from Finland, in the hope he can
play in next month's friendly against Sweden.

The Arsenal defender has a Finnish mother
and played for Finland Under 21s but trained
with Roy Hodgson's squad ahead of the World
Cup qualifier in Poland earlier this month and
told the England boss he was ready to make
the switch.

Impressive: Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson (right)

Impressive: Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson (right)

Jack Wilshere will bring flair back for England – Jamie Redknapp

The flair will return for England when Jack's back in the team

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UPDATED:

22:26 GMT, 18 October 2012

Having Jack Wilshere back in the England team will make a big difference but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking one player can turn us into world-beaters.

Roy Hodgson’s side aren’t creating many chances at the moment and although they are doing well not to lose matches, there is not much imagination in the team.

Key player: Wilshere in action for England against Wales in Cardiff last year

Key player: Wilshere in action for England against Wales in Cardiff last year

Our best chances come when Steven Gerrard drives forward but we can’t expect him to be Roy of the Rovers all the time. We need creativity out wide, as well as the inevitable flair Wilshere will bring through the middle.

What Wilshere excels at is one-twos around the box and they are the
most difficult thing in football to defend against because your natural
reaction is to follow the ball rather than the man. It is something Andres
Iniesta and Xavi have made a living out of.

Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere

Flair: England will receive a boost when Wilshere retires

THE STATS SAY…

PASS COMPLETION

Wilshere has an 87 per cent pass
completion rate in an England shirt — the third best from the current crop of central midfielders. Tom Cleverley is top with 92 per cent and Scott Parker is second with 89 per cent.

ATTACKING PENETRATION

In 2010-11, his last full season playing Premier League football, Wilshere had the third highest pass average in the attacking third — 43.7 per 90 minutes — only behind Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas (57.3) and Chelsea’s Michael Essien (44.6).

Wilshere, like all very good players, has an image in his head of where the next pass is going — that means he is a step ahead and rarely loses possession. It’s as if he has wing mirrors.

So he will give England a lift, although he shouldn’t be surprised if he picks up a few more niggles. It’s perfectly normal when returning from a big spell out to pick up secondary injuries.

England have two ways they can use Wilshere. He could sit in front of the back four and be England’s Andrea Pirlo, having more than 100 touches per match and dictating the game.

He is a good tackler so that would work well, though I wonder if he’s a little too young for that role.

Alternatively, you can use him higher up the pitch, linking with Wayne Rooney. As long as we get him on the ball lots, England will benefit.

In the thick of it: Steven Gerrard in action for England in Poland on Wednesday

In the thick of it: Steven Gerrard in action for England in Poland on Wednesday

Roy Keane to be manager of Kasimpasa

Turkish delight for Keane as ex-United skipper takes reigns at Kasimpasa

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UPDATED:

07:45 GMT, 30 September 2012

Roy Keane will make a surprise return to management with Turkish side Kasimpasa.

The former Manchester United captain has been out of the game since being sacked by Ipswich last year.

But Keane, who has forged a career as a television pundit, is set to be announced as the Istanbul side's boss on Sunday.

Return: Roy Keane is set to be named as the new manager of Kasimpasa

Return: Roy Keane is set to be named as the new manager of Kasimpasa

Kasimpasa have only just been promoted back to the top flight of Turkish football and have never won the Super League.

But with new investment on the way, they have identified Keane as the man to bring them success, according to The Sun.

Carl Jenkinson could earn England call-up

Jenkinson set to be rewarded for superb start with shock England call up

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UPDATED:

11:01 GMT, 28 September 2012

Carl Jenkinson could be in line for a surprise England call up with Roy Hodgson having trouble in the right-back department.

Glen Johnson is suspended for England's game against San Marino and Martin Kelly is injured for the season.

Kyle Walker is likely to be Hodgson's first choice but Jenkinson could slot in as reserve.

Impressive: Carl Jenkinson has surprised a few this season

Impressive: Carl Jenkinson has surprised a few this season

The Arsenal defender has shocked many with his strong performances as part of a tight defence during the start of the season.

Jenkinson is also eligible to play for Finland and Hodgson may strike to prevent him being picked up by them.

Jenkinson cost Arsenal 1million in the summer of 2011 and Arsene Wenger expects he will become an important player for that national team.

Quickly: Roy Hodgson could seal Jenkinson's international future

Quickly: Roy Hodgson could seal Jenkinson's international future

He said: 'I believe Jenkinson will have an impact here and you will fight for him not to play for Finland.'

Jenkinson has played for Finland at U21 level and Hodgson could use this moment to strike before it's too late.