Those words have entered our footballing lexicon. Usually used by commentators when they score one of those type of goals.

What type ? The ones that Roy Race used to score. Always an unstoppable screamer into the top corner of the net.

Listen forget your Frankie Lampards and your Stevie Gerrards – this legendary player won more cups than both of them put together. He played longer and only stopped after his foot was amputated (at the age of 51!)

Also unlike other certain footballers, Roy Race was exemplary on the field. In the 501 games he played for Melchester Rovers how many times booked ? Not once.

Eventually he took over as player-manager and even signed a couple of members from Spandau Ballet.

Off the field once again he set an example with a clean living life, none of your barneys at a disco, sleeping with fellow players girlfriends or drink/drug problems for him. No all he had in his life was that assassination attempt, that bomb which blew up the team bus and of course, the helicopter crash which ended his playing career.

» This is an excerpt from a BBC Four documentary broadcast in 2007 in which they mention Roy’s signing of Martin and Steve from Spandau Ballet:

Roy Race was a footballing ambassador. He encouraged kids to stay in school, study hard…etc, all that guff.

Then in 1990 he teamed up with another professional example of the game who, like Roy Race was never booked.

Roy Race and Gary Lineker

The thought of Gary Lineker singing… Yes yes there was that England/World Cup song abomination a few months back. I thought we’d wiped all memories of that.

As always with Lineker, like with that World Cup song… “STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!”… this other project’s aim was to do good.

Well the intention was there.

Roy and Gary “collaborated” on a single and the idea of record was to stand against hooliganism. This single was “a hot-rocking heavy metal rap with Gary Lineker and Roy on lead vocals and Roy on lead guitar!”

Newspaper clippings via Colin Jarman, who co-wrote the single:

Gary Lineker - Roy Of The Rovers single - newspaper clippings

On the back of the single was a message from Roy Race himself:

“Football is all about having a good time – for the right reasons!
But hooligans (I refuse to call them football hooligans) across
Europe have cast a giant shadow over our great game.
At Melchester Rovers I have always believed that you can only build
success through loyalty and teamwork. This record is my serious
message to the true fans of football – LET’S WORK TOGETHER
as a team and form a EUROPE UNITED!”

Roy Race
Player/Manager
Melchester Rovers FC

But if you’ve read that clipping above your excitement is tempered already. That’s right, Lineker’s contribution was only spoken word.

When you hear his ramblings, you’ll hear… well when I listened what I swear it could have been… Are you sure that’s Gary Lineker and not Steve Coogan doing Partridge doing Lineker…?

Another disappointment you’ll find is that *whisper it* Roy Race is a fictional character so his vocals were done by someone called Paul Curbishley. No relation to Alan I’m sure.

The rap, which makes up the majority of the record, is by Bruno Johnson. The b-side is also a rap, this time by Wade Lockett. The listing of both tracks on this single are credited to Vulture Culture and I’ve named the files the same. The weird thing about this single (released in 1990) which you’ve probably noticed, are the titles –

» A Side: EUROPE UNITED (Let’s Work Together) [1992 Mix]

» B Side: ROY OF THE ROVERS RAP (1994 Mix)

Scans:

It is with huge thanks/blame to @giles_metcalfe for leading down this particular dark path.

Related: A song by Saint Etienne, which Branch of Science say is a nod to the comic strip:

Extra Time

» A more in depth profile on Roy Of The Rovers:

More reading:

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