Roy of the Rovers had been revived by Match of the Day magazine in May 1997 but it wasn’t until a year later that I discovered that info.
The first issue I bought was the August/September 1998 one and, on top of ROTR, I was impressed with the quality of the content. If there were any doubts, the fact that their season preview included renderings of the home its of the 92 English league clubs and ten top-flight sides in Scotland would have clinched the matter.
The illustrator is Anne Cakebread – I would later encounter her work in the England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Lions Rugby Miscellanies, showcasing each team’s kit histories and providing some inspiration to me in my quest to draw strips.
There are some small quibbles – for example, Anne was provided with false information for Aston Villa, with the kit shown a mix of the 1995-97 home shirt and 1997-98. Villa and a few others were between sponsors at the time – the curse of deadlines for a monthly magazine.
Nevertheless, it is a fascinating snapshot in terms of where kit design was at the time.