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Football comic with mostly comic strips and "Goal-Post", letters to Pete's Page.

Scorcher had only been out a little over a year before it joined with "Score" in July 1971 and then "Tiger" in 1974.

That comic hero (Nipper Lawrence) was extremely popular in Croatia and former Yugoslavia, especially among the soccer fans. - Ivica Ivanisevic

Scorcher ( later Scorcher 'n ' Score ) was a fantastic football comic from the Seventies. The first issue had a cardboard " League Ladder " consisting of four leagues ( One to Four - for anyone under thirty ! ) and 92 push out tabs representing the clubs. It was fairly laborious and got tatty after a while! The main strips were " Jack of United " and " Jimmy of City " . Jack was square jawed and fairly strait laced , whereas Jimmy was more of a George Best type. Often a story in one strip would be continued in the other. Other strips included " Billy's Boots " - A young lad discovers an old pair of boots which give him the skills of a legendary 1920's player. " Lord Rumseys Rovers " - A team . Lead by Lord Rumsey. ( cant remember much about this one ! ) " Laggs Eleven " - A prison team from the sort of prison that only existed in " Porridge " and Peter Sellers films. This has sparked lots of memories! If anyone else has further info I would be very interested. Most of my copies were chucked out! - Phil

I'm afraid your correspondent Phil is getting Scorcher a little mixed up with the other football comic SCORE n ROAR and the mag SHOOT! Issue 1 of Scorcher didn't have anything as sophisticated as League Ladders (they were free in Shoot). Scorcher's free gift was a soccer wall chart where you plotted your team's progress as a graph. (You even had to supply your own pencil). Jack of United and Jimmy of City started out in Score n Roar (although they may have moved into Scorcher a year later when the comics merged).

Most importantly for historians, Scorcher was the first IPC "theme" comic. Before this, IPC's (and most of their rivals) adventure comics were anthologies of sport, war, sci-fi, etc. The success of Scorcher's football-only strips led IPC towards publishing other theme comics such as BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY (all war), 2000 AD (all science fiction), MISTY (supernatural) and the considerably less popular SCREAM (mild horror). Even TIGER had a makeover into an all-sport comic. The trend was also reflected in IPC's humour line, with MONSTER FUN (monsters), SHIVER AND SHAKE (comedy horror), and SCHOOL FUN (er, school fun). - Lew Stringer

As a kid in the early to mid 1970s, the highlight of the week was definitely getting my copy of Scorcher and Score, which my Nan used to buy and give to me on Saturdays at about 5.30 as we listened to football reports on the radio. It had great stories, notably the brilliant Nipper, starring Nipper Lawrence who played for a team called Blackport. The sketches were dark and brooding, symbolic of the northern town where Nipper plied his trade (distressingly I fancied Nipper's girlfriend Kerry who entered proceedings in about 1973). Most people remember Billy's Boots but there was also Bobby of the Blues (Bobby Booth who played for Everpool - I used to love the way fictitious names were created by joining up the names of real clubs), Roly Poly Rovers, which was based around a side formed by members of a circus with a contortionist in goal and also featured a strongman, a clown and a sharpshooter. Around 1971 or 1972 there was a series called Brain's Bombers or something like that. The front covers featured a running series like Top Teams or Meet the Manager. It was a fantastic comic. It became Tiger and Scorcher in autumn 1974 and I kept receiving it until about 1979 but it wasn't quite the same (or maybe it was me that changed!) - Matt

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

 


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