She was the first Footballer’s wife, who became as famous as her husband. The template for Posh and Beck’s were already in the national psyche because of them. Indeed the story of Penny Race, wife to Roy of the Rovers, was as important to Melchester Rovers fans during the 70’s and 80’s as life on the football pitch.
It’s a story of glamourous weddings, successful births, seperation and ultimately triumph from sadness and was our slice of true reality TV every week in the pages of the Roy of the Rovers comics.
In 1976 Race married then Rovers club Secretary Penny Laine. A year later they gave birth to twins, Roy and Melinda. Roy went on to have a footballing career after
his father – know as Roy ‘Rocky’ Race. Another daughter was born in 1982 called Diana, no doubt linked to the Royal Wedding a year before and the birth of William in the same year.
Penny left Roy in the early 1980s, in a high-profile storyline that was covered on national television news.
This was followed by a high profile shooting of Roy and after he survived that he fell out of love with Melchester Rovers to play for competitors Walford Rovers, only to return to by the end of the season.
Later on more of the home life of Penny and Roy was the central plot of a series of newspaper strips for the now defunct ‘Today’ newspaper.
Disaster struck in 1993 when after a helicopter crash Roy awoke from a coma to find his foot amputated and his footballing career at and end. He went on to manage Italian team Monza.
1995 saw the worst tragedy shatter the Race family. Penny Race was killed in a mysterious car crash, the true circumstances of which remain a mystery.
Following her death Race quit Monza and football with depression. He returned in 1997 to save Melchester Rovers from relegation.
It’s recently been announced that Roy will be rebooted for a new generation.
In true Dallas style we hope it’s all been a dream and Penny will return in her rightful place for the 21st Century. As Roy’s Chief Executive with their two daughters playing for the England Women’s Squad perhaps? The stories, and tabloid gossip, is endless!