To celebrate the return of Roy of the Rovers , the National Literacy Trust and Rebellion are inviting pupils aged 8 to 12 to get creative and write a club motto for Roy Race’s iconic football team, Melchester Rovers.  

As well as £250 worth of books and comics for their school, the winning pupil will receive a prize that money can’t buy – their motto will be written into an upcoming Roy of the Rovers book by best-selling children’s author, Tom Palmer, who will also visit the winner’s school! The winner and 10 runners up will also get a full set of signed Roy of the Rovers books.

Publishers Rebellion have rebooted the legendary Roy of the Rovers comic for the 21st century to help inspire new generations of children to fall in love with reading through football. As part of Rebellion’s commitment to children’s literacy, the publisher has already donated 10,000 Roy of the Rovers graphic novels and illustrated fiction books to National Literacy Trust Hubs around the UK. This competition is the natural next step for Rebellion’s burgeoning partnership with the charity.

Using exciting excerpts and illustrations from the new books, the National Literacy Trust has created a range of free teaching resources and activities, including top tips from author Tom Palmer, to help pupils write a motto that encapsulates Roy Race’s passion for football, celebrates the team spirit of Melchester Rovers and inspires fans. Teachers will also receive a free Roy of the Rovers poster for their classroom and bookmarks for pupils.

Tom Palmer, author of the new Roy of the Rovers chapter books, said: Roy of the Rovers helped me discover a love of reading. I might be a reader and writer now, but I wasn’t when I was at school. I was intimidated by reading. I feared it. But all that changed when I started reading about the only thing I cared about at that age – football. Roy Race quickly became my football hero. He didn’t give up. He faced challenges head on. When things went wrong, he would find a solution, not just blame others. And he scored great goals!

“10-year-old me would have loved to enter this competition, getting the chance to turn Roy’s ‘can do’ attitude and passion for the beautiful game into a punchy motto for Melchester Rovers. Good luck to everyone entering the competition – I can’t wait to celebrate the winning pupil by writing their motto into a Roy of the Rovers book!”

Jim Sells, Sport and Literacy Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust, said: “We’ve seen first-hand how bringing football into the classroom can level the playing field for children who have fallen behind with their reading and writing. We can’t wait to see how Roy’s latest adventures will inspire children and young people to write a motto that celebrates the true spirit of the mighty Melchester Rovers.”

Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley said: Roy of the Rovers isn’t just about football, fair play and Roy Race – it’s also about the joy of reading compelling stories and following great characters as they overcome the odds. We’re delighted to be partnering with the National Literacy Trust in this competition, and hope that Roy of the Rovers can inspire a whole new generation to enjoy reading, just as it has done in the past.”

To enter the competition and download free materials and activities, visit: