From the pitch to the page: Top children’s author pens live story about England Lionesses at the Women’s World Cup

17 May 2019

Rocky of the Rovers front cover

We have partnered with Rebellion and The Football Association to launch a free live story following the journey of England’s Lionesses at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France this summer (7 June – 7 July).

The story will be written and published, chapter-by-chapter, as the Lionesses progress through the tournament. It will use the power of football, and the excitement around events as they unfold on and off the pitch at the Women’s World Cup, to get children aged 8 to 14 excited about reading.

Written by bestselling children’s author Tom Palmer, Rocky of the Rovers: France 2019 will feature a popular trio of characters from the recently rebooted Roy of the Rovers series, published by Rebellion. Readers will follow the adventures of Rocky Race, her brother Roy and her football coach Ffion as they travel around France to cheer on the Lionesses.

This is the first Roy of the Rovers story to feature not only a female lead, in the form of Roy’s feisty younger sister Rocky, but also women’s football in general, and represents the latest step in bringing the beloved football comic into the 21st century. 2019 marks the 65th anniversary of Roy of the Rovers’ first appearance on the pitch and this World Cup story is a landmark event in the history of the comic.

The story is designed to be read aloud in the classroom or at home and will be published in three chapters a week on the National Literacy Trust’s website throughout the tournament. The first chapter is out today.

“I went to watch the Lionesses play in the Euros two years ago and loved it. This time I’m sending three of my characters from Roy of the Rovers to enjoy it, setting Rocky, Ffion and Roy a few challenges along the way. The idea is to write the story day-by-day as the events unfold, making the action as up-to-date and relevant to children in the classroom, so they enjoy reading for pleasure. And to encourage them to follow England Women all the way to the final!”

Tom Palmer, author