Wednesday Comics: Jack of United

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While the ’90s Roy of the Rovers strips are the ones that I mostly grew up reading, there are still a handful of notable football comics characters from earlier decades that I have a sense of nostalgic affection for, thanks to picking up occasional 1970s and 1980s annuals throughout my childhood. One of my favourites, discovered in either a Scorcher or Score annual (I still haven’t actually been able to place/track down/remember the precise one I first read them in, though I’d know the story as soon as I saw it) was the distinctive hook of Jack of United and Jimmy of City.

Jack and Jimmy first appeared in Score ‘n’ Roar, a two-sided comic in the vein of the classic Whizzer and Chips, where each issue would be flipped upside down at the halfway point, and strips and features would essentially compete against one-another for the readers’ affections. This enabled the clever split of the Jack and Jimmy strips, which told the story of the two Chelsey brothers, who played for cross-town rivals Castleburn United and Castleburn City respectively.

The strips played on the characteristic differences between both the brothers themselves (Jack was a steadfast, sensible centre-back who looked like Roy Race, while Jimmy was a long-haired, temperamental flair winger; they were, essentially, the Charlton brothers, albeit with a bit of George Best thrown into Jimmy’s mix), and the clubs they played for. Each story would be split into two, with each half focusing on the respective brother, and some kind of thematic or direct plot-based link or overlap between them. The strips were drawn by future Roy of the Rovers stalwart Barrie Mitchell – I’m afraid I don’t know who the writer was, but if anyone has more information, feel free to let me know.

Presented above is the Jack of United portion of the story from the 1973 Score annual. But what about the Jimmy of City half? Well, you’ll have to wait until next week for that one…

1 Comment on Wednesday Comics: Jack of United

  1. John Patrick // March 4, 2015 at 3:14 pm // Reply

    If I remember correctly, they both went for trials at United. Jack was signed straight away but they didn’t like “flashy” Jimmy, who was spotted later the same day playing in a park (!!) by a scout for City.
    I think the strip also eventually rolled into one when City bought Jack (could have been “United bought Jimmy”) so they finally got to play on the same team.

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