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We Are United/Limp Along Leslie Help Required 
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:36 pm
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I know it is only my first post but I am putting together the complete We Are united storyline from Champ. I have all Champ issues and all Spike issues and am curreltly collecting Buddy:

Now working backwards...

We Are United featured in Champ

Charlie Iron Barr (who signed for United in Champ) featured in Spike playing for Darbury. Which featured Limp Along Leslie.

Now I am currently collecting the Limp stories from Buddy so I have questions that I hope anyone can help.

1. Were the Limp drawn stories reprints in Buddy of older Limp stories. I heard a rumour that some were original.

2. As Buddy continured til August 83 I think then merged into Victor and Darbury's story continued in Barr's story in Issue#1. Date January 83!! Did Limp finish the week before Issue#1 of Spike or did it continue in until its final issue. Did Limp's story continue past the end of Buddy into Victor? ( I cant see how or why)

3. Does anyone have a definitive list of where Limp along stories were published and whether they were original or reprints?

4. As Limp goes back to the 50's, and featured Bernard Briggs, Arnold Tabbs, Nick Smith and The Blitz Kid, it means I can date the United story back to 1945. Does anyone have any info on any of those named please. (I am planning a book about Champ's We Are United so any help is appreciated and I will also mention you as a source in the book if I get that far!!) Dates of originals and reprints would help. Also I understand some Briggs and The Blitz Kid featured in a reprint in Red Dagger is that right?

Going forward from Champ

The We Are United story continued into Victor and then a story started called The Goals Of Jimmy Grant, who then went into We Are United, then back into his own story. oes anyone have the info as to what issues WAU ran to and what issues the stop-starting Goals Of Jimmy Grant ran from and til.

I know that both WAU and TGOJG ran into the Football Picture Story Monthlies.

5. Can anyone confirm any annuals that featured either WAU or TGOJG, I believe there were a few Victor Annuals with JG in.

and finally,

Can anyone give me info on the ONE OR TWO Football Picture Story Monthly SPECIALS. I believe United were featured and also a story called The Blues, which was part of the United timeline

What a great board this is. I look forward to any help.


Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:49 pm
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I can certainly answer all the questions that relate specifically to any text or picture story papers. Someone else will have to help out with question 5 because I only have the boys' annuals that are spin-offs from the text story papers. However, as you are asking for rather a lot of information, and because I am very busy with two other projects, I will have to spread the necessary checking to answer your questions over ten days to a fortnight. I can answer one of them now though. Bernard Briggs and Arnold Tabbs appeared once each in Red Dagger. Bernard's story was called That Mascot Called Monty, and was in issue 18, Arnold's was The Blitz Kid, that appeared in issue 25. They were both repeats.

I must admit that your canvas does seem rather broad, going, as you seem to suggest, from the first appearance of Nick Smith in 1945 to the final issues of The Victor in 1992 with Jimmy Grant, when your main intention is to cover We Are United. I can see some point in introducing Limp Along Leslie, and of course Charlie Barr is heavily influenced by earlier portrayals of Bernard Briggs, but I don't see Nick Smith and Arnold Tabbs, great characters though they are, as having much more than a walk-on part in a book about the history of United. How do you see yourself using them? Can I also ask you for a clarification of question 3.The bulk of the stories about Limp Along Leslie appeared in text form in The Wizard, just as the Nick Smith serials appeared in The Rover. Are you planning on referring to these serials, or are you just going to stick to the picture strip stories, whether they are repeats or not?


Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:02 pm
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Mr Valeera
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I can add a little bit. Limp Aong Leslie's main artist in Buddy was Neville Wilson. Jimmy Grant took over the cover of Victor in issue 1391 dated 17 October 1987 and reigned supreme on the cover until Victor went glossy and then the cover would be shared between footballer pictures and splash pictures indicating one of the internal stories. I think Neville Wilson was the main Jimmy Grant artist as well, but I am only 90% sure on that at the moment.

Josep Marti illustrated the Bernard Briggs story That Mascot Called Monty beautifully and The Blitz Kid was drawn by Giralt. The main We are United artist was Peter Foster.

As to many of your other questions, there is a fair amount of data out there in internet land, including an abortive attempt at a blog about We Are United.

And yes Jimmy Grant made it into several Victor annuals.

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Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:20 pm
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The first Limp-Along Leslie serial in Buddy is based on the eighteen-issue series 1 of Limp Along Leslie in The Wizard in 1951. The hyphen is not used in the titles in the text story paper. Names are changed. Uncle Dan becomes Uncle Arnold, the Reverend Rawson becomes Mr Denley, Les's surname is changed from Tomson to Thomson, and his other cousin Fred is considered surplus to requirements. The essence of The Wizard's series 1 takes up the first thirty-five issues of Buddy, but inevitably there are new story threads such as those featuring Ray Stoddard, Nick Slade and Clem Digby. Thereafter, there is certainly continuity in the Buddy tale, but it doesn't follow series 2 or 3 in The Wizard. Even by the end of the entire Buddy serial Les is still at Low Dyke Farm, and his uncle is still alive, whereas in series 3 of The Wizard Les moves out and takes on the tenancy of Myre End Farm. All the serials in The Wizard are more expansive, and therefore more detailed, than the cramped stories in Buddy. A further fundamental change is that in Buddy Les is the centre-forward (9), the principal striker, but in The Wizard he is a schemer, playing inside-right (8), providing opportunities for others to score the goals.

Charlie Barr's story did continue from Buddy into The Victor, but only in the sense that he continued to play for Darbury Rangers. He didn't feature often, but in the last instalment the readers are told that Barr had been given a huge reward for recovering a hoard of gold bullion, and had given it all to the club, so saving them from going bankrupt. The story was called Limp-Along Leslie, and it ran from 1173 (Aug. 12 1983) - 1182 (Oct. 15 1983).

Limp-Along Leslie didn't finish in Buddy before issue 1 of Spike. In issue 101 (Jan. 15 1983) Les is concerned about the form of Darbury's goalkeeper, and the keeper himself seems to be contemplating retirement as he feels past it. In issue 102 (Jan. 22 1983) Darbury get Charlie Barr to replace him. He is a one-man scrap metal dealer, and will only play as an amateur. The story about how he impresses Darbury's management is faithfully based on issue 1550 in The Wizard (Oct. 29 1955), which is the point where series 9 of Limp Along Leslie is hijacked by Bernard Briggs, to the extent that the title alters permanently to Bouncing Briggs - He Only Lost One Goal. Charlie is definitely intended to be a retread of Bernard Briggs, although he does let some goals in! The stories in Buddy and Spike then follow their own paths. Even the opponents the club play week by week are different.

Limp-Along Leslie did continue into The Victor after the demise of Buddy, as mentioned above. The final issue of Buddy saw Leslie looking forward to the start of the new season. The serial in The Victor (dates above) has two main threads. The first concerns the machinations of Lord Mankro, who is trying to buy Edgar's Bleakridge section of Low Dyke Farm for well below its market value in order to build a leisure complex on it. Uncle Arnold urges Les to stop Edgar from selling at all costs. The second concerns the difficulties the club has repaying a large loan from Sir Gregory Slade, another land-grabber, who inevitably becomes chairman. The only way the club can see to raise the funds before Slade forecloses is to sell Les, who will fetch more than £1,000,000. Charlie Barr's gift, referred to earlier, removes both the threat and Slade.

We Are United continued into The Victor, and ended in 1317 (May 17 1986). The first series of The Goals Of Jimmy Grant also ended in that issue, with United's manager Joe Pearson saying that he hopes to sign Jimmy to replace the injured Kevin Nicklish. Series 2 of The Goals Of Jimmy Grant starts in 1354 (Jan. 31 1987). He is eighteen, starts the new season with his newly-promoted Brompton Albion, but only plays one game before he is transferred to United for £250,000. The series ends in 1369 (May 16 1987). When series 3 starts in 1389 (Oct. 3 1987) he has already been transferred to the Italian side Ramoli. His contract there ends in issue 1423, and he moves back to United in 1424, but only for their pre-season tour of Australia, where he picks up a bad knee injury. On their return, United's directors will only offer him a match-to-match contract. Jimmy wants one for two years, so he moves on in 1433 (Aug. 6 1988) to 2nd Division club Alton Rovers as player-coach in charge of team affairs. The saga of Jimmy Grant just goes on and on like the Mississippi, ending in the final issue of The Victor 1657 (Nov. 21 1992). He plays for various other teams during the run.

As I have not yet received answers to the two questions I asked, I am deferring until then my response to the whole question of the titles of serials in the text story papers, because I just don't know how relevant they will be. I'm sure rivertonunited wouldn't want me to be wasting my time, especially as I have two other projects currently on the go.


Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:48 pm
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Many many thanks for your extensive replies. I do apologise for not being on to often since enrolling, time has been against me.

I will give a more detailed reply over the weekend, thanks again.


Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:32 am
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rivertonunited wrote:
Many many thanks for your extensive replies. I do apologise for not being on to often since enrolling, time has been against me. I will give a more detailed reply over the weekend, thanks again.
Well here we are on Monday, rivertonunited, and unless I have misinterpreted your words over the weekend, you would appear to have failed to deliver on your promise. I am naturally prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt, seeing as you did come onto the forum on Saturday night, if you will just direct me to the place where you posted your more detailed reply, which hopefully contains the answers to the questions I asked you as long ago as October 17th, and which I am still looking forward to reading. Of course if you no longer require the lists of Limp Along Leslie, Nick Smith and Arnold Tabbs titles from the text story papers, not to mention their repeats, all of which you believe will give some substance and authority to your proposed book on the story We Are United, I would still be expecting the courtesy of a reply, even if it is only to tell me that you no longer consider the project a viable one, a view that would match my own.


Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:55 am
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Well. I just wrote a reply to which my PC then crashes before posting! Typical.

Firstly, may I apologise for the lack of posting or replies since I first requested this. Family illness and the 1st anniv of a family bereavement mean my mind has been elsewhere. While I have made one or two visits, they were merely for moments only and I didn't have the enthusiasm to reply as, as I said my thoughts were elsewhere. Not really an excuse but I hope you will accept it as I wouldnt want to get off on the wrong footing.

Thankyou so much for the wonderful detailed reply. As i stated it is early days for me as to whether it is a viable project/whether interest is there. So I do appreciate the info, even if it is only to collate a full chronology of United. I do agree with you in hindsight though that the Smith, Tabbs etc information really isn't needed. Even if I do perhaps use it (if i do the project) it will only be a side issue. I understand you hard work in giving me the information and should I decide to persue the idea, not only will I credit you in the book I will also pay for your time.

I was very interested to read that Barr's story continued into Victor, bloody continuity! It is not until you look deeper that you realise how big the universe is. Including the retconning in the FPSM's and even the crossover into The Blues in the FPSM Special.

I am currently collecting all of the picture works. Once I do that, I will look into the earlier works and as I said whether a book is viable.

In the meantime, I thank you and colcool007 fo your replies and once again please accept my apologies.


Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:09 pm
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rivertonunited wrote:
I will also pay for your time
There is no way I will be putting in a bill for the time I spent on the research necessary to answer your questions, rivertonunited. That's not what comicsuk is all about. We are perfectly happy here to go the extra mile to help other members, an approach which most users would agree is a major plus point for us all. The only thing we need is dialogue. Questions require answers, but sometimes, as here, the answers themselves contain questions, often just to clarify an aspect of a question in order to give an appropriate answer.

Regarding your project, I stand by my original point about Nick Smith and Arnold Tabbs because there is no discernible connection with any members of the United team. Even the connection with Limp Along Leslie is slender because they only featured together when their teams, Blackford Wanderers and Darbury Rangers respectively, were playing each other, and in one England game if I remember correctly. On the other hand, there is mileage to be had out of Bernard Briggs, given that Charlie Barr is a retread.

You obviously think your project is worth doing, and there is nothing wrong with getting all the information into the sort of shape that would attract United enthusiasts, but I don't think there is enough detail to fill a book. I think you will find that, even with illustrations, an A4 booklet of about 48 pages will be about as far as it will stretch. If you get that far, don't forget to get copyright clearance from Thomsons. You could then sell it through eBay. I wish you the best of luck with it. Do please keep us informed.


Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:57 pm
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Indeed, again thanks for the reply Phoenix.

I tend to agree. The popularity of the subject matter was limited. Which is such a shame as the We Are United storylines were a good read.

I have to agree with everything you said. A limited project maybe the way to go. Like you said the ealier links are slight.

i will regualrly keep you informed and thanks for clarifying your position regarding accumilation of info on here.


Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:37 pm
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I would actually like to see books reprinting all those classic football stories in their entirety such as we are united iron barr etc DCT could publish at least 2 a month as there is such a wealth of material out there but such books would probably fail to sell even 100,we uk comics fans are a dying breed :(


Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:33 pm
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big bad bri wrote:
I would actually like to see books reprinting all those classic football stories in their entirety such as we are united iron barr etc DCT could publish at least 2 a month as there is such a wealth of material out there but such books would probably fail to sell even 100,we uk comics fans are a dying breed :(


Yes. DCT's reprint adventure comic Red Dagger didn't last too long, and that was back when comics were more popular.

I don't think football comics on their own have fared too well over the years. Apart from Roy of the Rovers which was very successful. Scorcher did ok for five years, but Score 'n' Roar failed, as did Hot Shot and Striker. Football strips as part of an anthology of other themes seem to work ok but perhaps all-footie comics feel like overkill. That said, how long did DC Thomson's Football library format comic last? (Can't say as I ever read it.)

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Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:57 pm
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Lew Stringer wrote:
...That said, how long did DC Thomson's Football library format comic last? (Can't say as I ever read it.)
I believed it was approximately twelve years. But a swift Google and the ever-reliable Vic Whittle's site confirms it was 17 years and 418 issues.

Riverton, this is a very good starting point for you as Vic is good enough to list the United and Jimmy Grant stories.

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Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:35 pm
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Ah yes colcool007, I had the info already but thanks for the heads up anyway.

A great source of info on that site.


Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:17 am
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Lew Stringer wrote:
big bad bri wrote:
I would actually like to see books reprinting all those classic football stories in their entirety such as we are united iron barr etc DCT could publish at least 2 a month as there is such a wealth of material out there but such books would probably fail to sell even 100,we uk comics fans are a dying breed :(


Yes. DCT's reprint adventure comic Red Dagger didn't last too long, and that was back when comics were more popular.

I don't think football comics on their own have fared too well over the years. Apart from Roy of the Rovers which was very successful. Scorcher did ok for five years, but Score 'n' Roar failed, as did Hot Shot and Striker. Football strips as part of an anthology of other themes seem to work ok but perhaps all-footie comics feel like overkill. That said, how long did DC Thomson's Football library format comic last? (Can't say as I ever read it.)

Strange when football is the number one sport in Britain


Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:05 am
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I have been asked to update where I am at with the idea of a book,

I took on board various opinions on here and also did some research and came to the conclusion that there wasn't really a market for it book wise. I am still tinkering with the idea of a one off fanzine but even they are out of vogue these days.

My health hasn't been to great in this last year so taking on a project like this would have to be done properly anyway.

As stated before, thanks once again for the info provided on this thread.

I am in good health now and am looking forward to posting much more now.


Thu May 08, 2014 5:18 am
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