A LEGENDARY footballer was yesterday immortalised in an official


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


* Roy of the Rovers -- The Playing Years, by Peter Acton and Colin

Jarman, Queen Anne Press, #14.99. It will be in shops in the next few