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DIED - 19.03.1955




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Apart from Rockfist Rogan amongst others there was Jet Jackson a racing car driver Ginger Nutt the boy who takes the biscuit, Colwyn Dane a detective and Dixie Jim who was a sort of cowboy. I do not remember the one you mention,
It had mostly written stories with a "comic" at (maybe at either end ) but definitely in the middle I think, but my memory is fading. - Roger Curnow

Champion - bibliography

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The Last Issue was Issue Number 1729, issued week ending 19/03/1955. In the centre pages it informs the readers that it is the last issue and that next week (week ending 26/03/1955), the readers should start buying LION (issue number 162). None of the characters from the Last Issue of Champion, ie "Catch em Alive Kit", "Rockfist Rogan", "Rocky Wonder Dog of the Wilds", "Jimmy Keane of Greycliffe Fourth" or "Colwyn Dane 'Tec Thriller" appear in the LION issue - so to me it seemed a bit strange.

However, Rockfist Rogan did start appearing in the TIGER comic week ending 26/03/1955 (issue number 29) but there was no mention of this in the last issue of Champion. In TIGER comic week ending 21/05/1955 (issue number 37), the Front Banner of the TIGER comic started to have in normal print the wording "Incorporating THE CHAMPION". (see attached JPG). This was still appearing on TIGER comics to at least week ending 10/10/1959. (could be longer but I don't have any records after this date) Rockfist Rogan was still going then as well.

I've got no idea when the 1st comic was issued, but with 1729 issues (and assuming that they're weekly) it would have to been around for just over 33 years. (ie around 1922). I have a Champion Annual dated 1926 (see attached JPG). At the beginning of the book the Editor makes mention of the fact that the last two years the annuals sold out quickly. There is also an advertisement for the weekly Champion Comic priced at two pence. - Brad Farrell

Your info re. the last issue of The Champion (No.1729) in incorrect. The centre pages do not refer to the Lion but to the Tiger which, on the following two weeks, was giving away free gifts. Hence the staement "Tell the newsagent you will want Tiger in future". - Alan Pratt

Interesting that Alan Pratt's information regarding Centre Pages of Last Champion Comic Differs from Mine (ie Tiger VS Lion). Attached is an image of my last Champion Comic which clearly states that LION should be purchased. As I purchased my in Australia (although origin unsure as it was second hand), maybe it was different, although I do have both Lion and Tiger Comics that were both issued week after Champion ceased and the TIGER comic definitely incorporates the Champion (again unsure of origin as both were S/H). I am aware that Eagle Comic released a different version of their comic for Australia in the 50's, maybe LION did the same? - Brad Farrell

Champion - Character

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In the 1940s, called the Champion and Triumph. Other story characters beside Rockfist Rogan and Colwyn Dane were:

Kangaroo Kennedy - the Whizbang Bowler
Punch McPhee - the Fighting Seacook
Trapper Pete and his Racing Huskies -

During the 1940s the Champion had only written stories. In the late 40s or early 50s there appeared a black and white comic strip (serial) in the centre pages. I cannot remember its name but the villain was "The Black Spot" who I believe rode a motorcycle. Also around that time for a while each Champion contained a collectible card. I think they featured the fastest racing cars and boats of the day. Perhaps someone else has a clearer recollection.- Bill Trench

The character I recall (in the '40s) was Wilson -Champion of Champions. He dressed completely on black and was capapbble of winning any athletic competition. In those days the Champion cost 5d, way too much for me, so I bought The Adventure or The Wizard for thruppence, and swopped with a more affluent pal.

I often wonder how I would react to a re-read of of those stories that enthralled our generation - Richard Martin

I subscribed to the Champion for while in the late fifties. Apart from Rockfist Rogan, my favourite was 'Ginger Nutt the boy who takes the biscuit' who along with his friend Jumbo Merlin made life hell for the prefects at the public school they attended. The prefects all had doubled barrelled names for some strange reason, Tasker-Lynch and Bagshaw-Smyth wherre just two of them. In addition there was a good football story, Johnny Fleetfoot, the Redskin winger and Colwyn Dane was an impressive detective. Why was it that detectives in the comics of the 30s 40s and 50 all had fancy names, Sexton Blake, Colwyn Dane and ferrars Locke of the Magnet to name but three. Perhaps it's a throw back from Sherlock Holmes.

This is a really good site. Very nostalgic indeed. Keep up the good work. - Felix Oliver-Tasker

Richard Martin states that Wilson was featured in The Champion. This is wrong. Your own page on the Wizard correctly shows that Wilson was featured in that paper, and was brought back in picture story form later in the Hornet.

By the way, what about the 1960's Champion that ran for about 15 issues (subsequently absorbed into Lion). Surprised that you do not have a listing for this. Best strip was Return of the Stormtroopers about a load of Nazi's who were put in suspended animation only to plague the world again in the future.-Steve Woodard

Around the mid 1940's, as well as Rockfist Rogan and Colwyn Dane, I seem to remember "Gusty Gale Gets Cracking" about two private school boarders Gusty Gale and Johnny Coe who were determined to save their school from the advances of an evil builder who had one of the masters,Waxy Crane, in his pay. Incidentally, was not the original (early 40's) "Rockfist Rogan R.A.F." in which our hero,aided by is sidekicks Curley and Archie and hampered by a clumsy but likeable Dizzy, took out most of the Luftwaf-Barry Butler

I remember reading and looking forward to each issue of Champion which I had on order as a child at my local (Australian) Newsagent. Imagine my excitement when I came across a large pile of them in a second hand bookstore about five or six years ago. Nostalgia must be an expensive hobby as each threepenny issue now cost $4. I managed to buy issues number 1721, 1633,1252,1235, 1366 and 1455. In the 1235 Issue (29 Sept 1945) there are stories about Rockfist Rogan (by Hal Wilson) The team without a ground (by Edward Home - Gall)Punch McFee- the fighting sea cook (by Donald Dane), Gusty Gale Gets Cracking (by Reg Wilson) and the Colwyn Dane thriller (by Mark Grimshaw)..Ten years later, appearently almost at the end of its long run we were entertained with The Sand Yacht Trackers ( by Walter Tyrer), The Swooping Terror ( by Tony Moore)The Greycliffe Circus Japers (by Reg Thomas). Only Colwyn Dane and Rockfist Rogan had survived the decade, and my favourite author Edward Home-Gall had disappeared.

I hope this brings back some memories to all concerned. Occasionally when I suffer from insomnia I get out my magnifying glass and try to decipher the small fading print and relive the nostalgia.-Lindsay

I inherited a beer box full of "The Champion Magazines" from my brother Charlie, this was about 1958. My favourites were Rockfist Rogan and Ginger Nutt, the boy who takes the biscuit. They are pretty hard to find in Australia these days I reckon, so I have bid on a few on Ebay in U.K. Hope I get 'em, I really would like to read the Champion again - Bill Metcalfe

When I first began getting the champion delivered in Adelaide,(1951, and the wait between issues seemed an eternity), the centre comic was “legionnaire terry’s desert quest”. Terry, with his friends Pierre, (zut alors) and I think an Italian, were searching for something to vindicate his dad, who had been disgraced, I think. They were constantly harassed by the awful german sergeant(gott in himmel, schweinhund, blitzen etc). As time went on , there were written serials, in addition to those mentioned—“ben barnes, the lad with the test match touch”, “the secret service six-hitter”, and “salty blake”-he came ashore and became captain coach of a team of no-hopers, and took tham to an fa cup final, or similar success. I remember he swapped the tall goalie (lofty?), with a small midfielder(?midge) to great effect. I knew no more about soccer then than I do now, but I remember it as a master tactical move. ther was also a comic about two likely brit cyclists, competing in a continental race / tour de france, again in harness with some good Europeans, against some beastly germans - Frank Robertson

Fireworks Flynn (originally his schooldays) later as a teacher. How I wished our teachers had his approach to teaching ! The Champion arrived regularly in New Zealand cost 4d and was the most popular of the boys book style comics. I recall Colwyn Dane's assistant Slick Chester and employee (ex con) Tiger Gates and his bloodhounds. And of course Rockfist and his long suffering boss Group Capt Blantyre - Jon Olsen

I read the Champion from about 1947 to 1953 and recall a serialized story about a Canadian (or was it U.S.) ice hockey team. Surprisingly, I didn’t think it strange then but do now, as ice hockey was never really a sport that British lads would identify with. However, it was a great story with a mystery player called Kilroy who I think was on the run from the police or was attempting to clear himself from some criminal charge. There was also a wonderful football story, “Danny of the Dazzlers” who played for North London Utd., a veiled reference presumably to Arsenal or Spurs. - Lawrence Bergman

What about Leader of the Lost Commandoes!!!
I bought an old copy in the 1990's and was surprised that I knew the ending to the story.
Must have been buried deep! - Kenn Rogers

I read avidly champion magazine in the mid forties and remember The Mantamer from Muskrat but my hero was Colwaun Dane Detective and it was just not on to have any comic strip instead of the written word an extraordinairy good magazine that fired the fertile imagination. - John Bogie

Out of curiosity, I was thumbing through my computer this Monday afternoon and entered a search for "The Champion", a publication I had enjoyed long ago. My encounter with it began in the summer of 1935 when I was sent to a summer camp for boys. The camp was located in Quebec, about 100 miles north of Montreal. At the age of 8, I was lured into a lengthy connection with this publication as well as "The Triumph", its counterpart.

In Canada for several years, our recreational reading tended to switch between daily newspaper comic strips about American heroes and heroines and weekly publications from Great Britain, printed on pulp with a print size that for me today (at 81) is almost impossible to comprehehend. Once back home in Toronto in the autumn I sought out a local newstand and resumed weekly contact with my heroes from overseas. Canada, as part of the Empire, received special communication services so that we were only a week or so behind the newstand release dates in Great Britain.

In 1938, with the advent of the 64-page monthly "comic books" from the U.S., we were inundated not only with favourite heroes from the newspaper comic strips, but additionally, they were in colour! The one I remember most vividly was "Famous Funnies" which featured stories of popular comic heroes which had appeared daily in the newspaper in b/w some months earlier.

The cost in Toronto of the 2d publications from Great Britain was 5¢, a penny more than the cost in Great Britain. It was during this early period of my reading life that I heard my favourite publications referred to as "Tuppeny Trash" and in later years when I was studying at Oxford, I happened to mention the term and seemed to hit a nerve of my contemporary, a gentleman at my college who befriended me on my arrival. In the course of our conversations, we both regretted the demise of "The Champion" which was caused by the outbreak of WW II in 1939.

By that time, my parents had sought to raise the caliber of my reading material and in 1938 gave me a subscription to "The Boys' Own Paper" which was eventually ended in 1940 by the effects of the War on the publlication industry in Great Britain. By the time the War had ended, I had become more sophisticated my my recreational readings, graduating to the works of Agatha Christie and Ellery Queen.

I still can recall other heroes of my readings of the mid-thirties and later. These included Tubby Timms, the 22 Stone Goalie, a seasonal serial during the football year. Another tale involved three cricket players who would "hit it for six" during the crickete season. But my favourite was Fireworks Flynn, a lad at a boys' school at the outset of my readings, and finally a master at the same school with the onset of the War. I also recalled encounters with "The Scapegrace Centre Forward" which I still remember for the acquisition of a new word to my vocabulary.

Now, with failing eyesight, the deterioration of my physical strength and and the elimination of my teeth, all I have are these occasional memories of those heroes of another era who brought me such pleasure and excitement, and I do believe an extended vocabulary that was often remarked upon by my teachers when I was a student in high school those many decades ago. "The Champion" was my preferred reading source, but I was never too disappointed if my newspaper centre had missed setting aside a copy of "The Triumph".

Thank you for your interesting collection of reminiscences of the past. - Carl T. Erickson, Port Lavaca, Texas

With reference to other comments on the website I , too, took 'The Champion' , from 1950 until its demise 5 years later, and was totally hooked on Danny of the Dazzlers, Colwyn Dane, and also Ginger Nutt - indeed it was a highspot of the week when the comic was delivered ! Also , because nearly all its stories were written as opposed to cartoon strips, it seemed to be a more 'adult' comic than the others that were around. Although not connected, would anyone remember reading a series of hardback schoolboy books about the exploits of a small group of lads at a rugby playing boarding school, of which I can only recall that one of them was a Japanese boy called Ito Nagao ? - Bill Seward

It was very interesting to see what others have been saying about the good old Champion, as I used to read it regularly too in the 50s. In my case, that was here in South Africa. My particular favourite was the detective Colwyn Dane.

I haven’t had any success finding old issues of the weekly Champion, but I have also been searching for the annual, which I enjoyed very much in the 50s too. I have been lucky enough to find two of them at reasonable prices recently (1953 and 1955), and intend continuing to search for both the weekly and the annuals.

On a slightly different point, Bill Seward mentioned Ito Nagao. He appeared in the Teddy Lester books by John Finnemore (1863-1915). The third member of the chums was The Bat.

These were also wonderful stories and recounted the adventures of the three chums at Slapton school. There were only six book in the series, which was published by W & R Chambers of London between 1907 and 1921 (e.g. Three School Chums [1907], Teddy Lester’s Schooldays [1914], Teddy Lester, Captain of Cricket [1916], Teddy Lester in the Fifth [1921]) and reprinted in the 40s and 50s by Latimer House. The Teddy Lester books seem to be rather scarce these days, which is quite strange, because they are excellent tales. Nor is there much information about them in the Internet. (The article on John Latimer in Wikipedia has a bit more information.) But, as with The Champion, I'll keep looking for Teddy Lester and will always be interested to hear about any that may be available at reasonable prices. - Errol Collen

During the 1939 45 war my brothers and I were not allowed by our parents to read comics but we were permitted to read the Champion Magazines , We didnt receive enough pocket money to buy them from newsagents but there was a shop in High Street Preston Melbourne which sold or exchanged second hand copies - If you traded in two you would get one free I remember how we treassured these magazines and the stories - Particularly remembered Rockfist Rogan the Boxing airman and of course the Australian Cricketer Kangaroo Kennedy I would love to get hold of an old 1944 - 45 copy - Max Parkinson

I was just reading all the other memories and the 1940's came rushing back. Rockfist Rogan was a favourite of mine as was First Light Fraser, the British spy who used to parachuted into Germany at first light.Or was he in some other magazine.
Like others I couldn't afford too many but I had an aunt who worked in the distributors and she used to supply me with the returns.
A visit from her was a red letter day. I also liked the detective stories.

If someone can put me straight on F L Fraser, I would appreciate it. - Peter Osborne

Came upon this site quite by accident and have spent quite a while going back 60 years to do some reminiscing through comments from those who were fellow keen readers of "Champion", "Lion" and "Tiger". I note that several have mentioned the footballing story involving "Danny of the Dazzlers", but somewhere in my memory bank is a series anout "Danny Dazzles Division One". Does anyone else recall this series of football stories? Did they come before or after "...the Dazzlers"; Or is it that my memory is ailing me? - John Harvey

I began to read the Champion on a weekly basis, during the mid 1940s, and could hardly wait for the next weeks copy, from my local news agent, in South Caulfield, Melbourne, Australia. During a fit of nostalgia, in my late sixties, I went hunting second hand bookshops, for copies, and managed to pick up 14 of them, at about 5 dollars each, in amongst which there was the last twopenny one, August 30 1941. vol 40 number 1022, and the first threepenny one, September 6, 1941. vol 40 1023. The others range from 1941 through to 1945. vols 40-48. numbers 1035.1149.1170.1171.1176.1180.1203.1205.1211.1212.1215.1227. I was also able to pick up the 1951 Champion Annual for boys,and the 1952 Champion book for boys. Alas not one of these contain a story about the character that used to inspire me the most,Tuffy Ted Tufton, the schoolboy soccer star, who always got back from his adventures, in time to score the winning goal. All the above material is in a very poor and delicate state but I would be happy to lend a copy, to anyone who hasn't been able to obtain one, and has a need, like the rest of us, to briefly relive a very important part of their childhood. - Rex Noble

I have 26 cards with cricketers from 1930, (before and maybe after). These cards were issued monthly by ‘The Champion’ and must now be over 70 years old. If any collectors are interested please contact me : beenferrell@bigpond.com - Diane Jones

Greets, Gentlemen (and Ladies)...As a primary school lad in South Africa I was an avid reader of the Champion... couldn't wait for Wednesday at the local newsagent, and devoured it eagerly every week.

Particularly loved (since Christmas falls in summer) the snow-covered masthead usually decorated with holly and mistletoe. Odd how one remembers these minutiae.

The line-up of characters that I recall were:
Colwyn Dane (detective) and Slick Chester (assistant)
Fireworks Flynn (the wizard winter sports master)
Ginger Nutt -- already covered in many of your posts
Rockfist Rogan (champion boxer and WW2 flying ace) [Great name, btw]
Hurry Scurry (racing car driver)
... and the comic strip -- originally three panels, then half a page, then the full centre spread -- Bob Suggs (apparently, if I remember correctly, a newsboy who kept on getting swept up with a police friends on wild chases and investigations).

As I advanced to high school, my reading of Champion came to an end, brought about by my parents. See, there had been another continuing character whose name I forget; a burly sailor in the merchant marine. One story went something like this: the bad guy had been stuffed into a sack and said sailor had picked up a belaying pin, whacking the (wrong) sack with words along the lines of "Avast, ye swab! I'll pickle yer mangy hide for yer misdeeds!"

My parents, convinced this would corrupt the mind of their innocent 12-year-old, instantly cancelled my subscription. By that time, anyway, I had discovered (and relished in secret) my friend's collection of American horror comics. Best wishes - John Graham Seeliger

Does anyone have any more information on the cycling duo that raced on the Continent, and featured in weekly text-only tales in, I think, the Champion? - Trevor Upton

The Champion: Does anybody know the name of the character who played football every football season and also cricket every summer and the name of the author of these stories? - Anthony Butlin

As kids at secondary school in North London from 1950 to 1957 we were convinced that Danny of the Dazzlers had to be Denis Compton, who played football for Arsenal and an England eleven in winter, and cricket for Middlesex and England in summer and on tour. In 1947 I watched Denis scoring a couple of his 18 centuries in 1947 and was delighted he also played for Arsenal which was just up the road from our school (as was the Lords Cricket ground). Denis's brother Leslie also played for Middlesex and Arsenal and the two of them were great role models for teenage boys.

Denis was known to be a bit of a lad so we avidly followed the adventures of Danny of the Dazzlers each week and tried to reconcile our hero Denis with our hero Danny. One issue I well remember involved Danny and his fellow Dazzlers shocked to discover that their kit had been stolen. It transpired that there was a clash of colours with the visiting team so both teams had to change their gear. The detailed description of the normal kit read like a description of the Arsenal kit and emphatically not like a description of the Spurs kit, so we were in no doubt which team the Dazzlers was shadowing. Danny got knocked out a few times but persisted to victory. Denis was concussed in a cricket match and returned to the crease to score 145. Nobody else was his equal, and the same could be said of Danny.

Looking back there was no doubt that the weekly dose of the Dazzlers was an interesting saga, some issues much better than others. But that's life, isn't it? The Champion was way better than the alternatives, The Beano, The Dandy, the Hotspur etc., It would be interesting to be able to lay hands on one or two copies again. - Peter Harbour

Teddy lester - The fourth member was Ito. The third was Arthur Digby a slow bowler. My sister has all books. - Rod

I also eagerly awaited the Champion, delivered by the CNA in Springs, South Africa in the 1950's.
The tough sailor someone remembered was Ruff Storm. At one stage Danny left the Dazzlers to become, I think, player/manager of the Rovers, a bottom of the league team, in "Danny makes the Rovers fight back". One of Ginger Nutt's teachers was "Swisher Cutlet". Most of the criminal "heavies" in the Colwyn Dane stories were "burly thugs". I still have a Rockfist Rogan book "Slightly Imperfect" so reduced to 3/6 in 1951 with Group Captain Blantyre, Dizzy Dyall, Curly Hooper and Archie Streatham.Very happy memories of the Champion. - David Williams

If you have any other information on The Champion please drop us a line.Drop us a line.


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