(A work in progress page).
Writer:- The Victor editorial team. Artist:- Bert Vandeput, unless otherwise stated.
Main cast:- Earl of Boote, Gorgeous Gus; Jenkins, his butler; Sam Hopkins, manager of Redburn Rovers.
Time period:- early 1960's.
See The Victor -
Note - these stories originally appeared as text stories in the D.C. Thomson boysWizard comic. The manager of Redburn Rovers, Sam Hopkins is at his witís end. Rovers are firmly anchored at the bottom of the First Division. Hopkins
has tried everything to motivate and lift morale. But with no success. Heís in total despair, when suddenly he finds a butler called Jenkins
standing in front of him telling him that his master, Earl of Boote has just purchased the club. He is then given some instructions to carry out. Hopkins at first sees this as a practical joke on someoneís part, is ready to throw the butler out of his office. However, Jenkins is telling the truth. Read the first episode from issue 29 below.
Note - these stories originally appeared as text stories in the D.C. Thomson boysWizard comic.
The manager of Redburn Rovers, Sam Hopkins is at his witís end. Rovers are firmly anchored at the bottom of the First Division. Hopkins has tried everything to motivate and lift morale. But with no success. Heís in total despair, when suddenly he finds a butler called Jenkins standing in front of him telling him that his master, Earl of Boote has just purchased the club. He is then given some instructions to carry out. Hopkins at first sees this as a practical joke on someoneís part, is ready to throw the butler out of his office. However, Jenkins is telling the truth. Read the first episode from issue 29 below.
Earl of Boote is a rich man with a passion for football. Gorgeous Gus as the Rovers fans have nicknamed him possesses the hardest shot in football. The power of his shots is enough to knock a goalkeeper clean off his feet backwards into his own net. Heís also an eccentric player and person. He insists that all passes are played directly to his feet and if they arenít he will not move to intercept the ball. As a rule he scores two goals and then substitutes himself to rest in his own small pavilion on the touch-line.
Readers who havenít met Earl of Boote before, maybe under the impression that he is a bit of a pompous character. But there is much more to the Earl of Boote than this. A stauch defender of footballing values, he is for example, prepared to prevent players who consistently play dirty tackles that could cause serious injuries from taking part in playing professional football. He's also quick to deal with football hooligans in the crowd. Earl of Boote backed by a large personal fortune (that is, having plenty of money), has the necessary clout to be able to make things happen quickly.
The following adventures of Gorgerous Gus from the first picture series are from issues 33, 35 and 36.
The second series follows Earl of Boote and Rovers progress in the European Cup. Initially, Gorgerous Gus is sceptical of the value of Rovers playing in Europe and refuses to allow his team to play in the competition. The newspapers think otherwise and the Earl of Boote realises his mistake and that it is a matter of national honour and pride that Rovers compete in the competition. Many trials and hurdles are met and overcome in the teamís quest of lifting the covetous trophy.
In one of their away leg matches in Poland, for example, the Redburn Rovers team are arrested when the police mistake Gus's football passing machine as some sort of gun. The police think they are gunrunners. With the team in jail and no hope of their release in time for their away leg match Gus has to resort to inviting some of the fanís supporters and British Embassy staff to play for Rovers! With a make-shift team Rovers do enough to ensure that they can still win the return leg back in the UK.
The following adventures of Gorgerous Gus and Rovers attempt to win the European Cup are from issues 58, 59, 63 and 66.
Gorgeous Gus, King of Gannet Island begins with the Earl of Boote deploring the World Cup preliminary stage situation, where top footballing nations could be drawn against each other. With the result that several of them would be knocked out in the early stages of the competition. With lesser nations progressing to the latter stages of the Cup.
Having learned that his Grand-Uncle Reginald, King of Gannet Island has died, Gus learns he is to be the Atlantic Sea island's new heir. The island is a separate country and is thus eligible to enter the World Cup. (By entering Gannet Island in the World Cup, Gus at the sametime can 'demonstrate the essential absurdity of the qualifying arrangements.' (Gus, Victor issue 279). But there are many difficulties to overcome first. The island only has a population of five hundred, has no footballing stadium and it is a steep climb via a rope ladder from the landing point to the land above. All these obstacles (and others) are overcome and Gannet Island are i n the World Cup.
As the series progresses though, Gus takes more of an interest in bird spotting and obtaining eggs from birds nests, than in the World Cup. (This activity today would land His Majesty in prison as collecting birds eggs from nests is illegal). So what is going on?
Needless to say the island country reaches the final and their opponents areÖ England, who in the real world had yet to win the World Cup. (The first episode of this series was published in the 21st May, 1966 Victor issue). But who wins the World Cup - England or Gannet Island? The 1966 World Cup Final was played on Saturday 30th July and the final issue of this series (issue 284), was published on the 30th July, 1966. Careful advance planning then by the Victor editorial team or just pure luck?
The artwork for the the first three series is by Bert Vandeput who produces some stirling work as he did for every strip he drew for the Victor and the Hornet.
Episodes from issues 274, 275, 277, 279, 282 and 284.