Preston North End’s Invincibles get comic book makeover

SPORTING ACTION: Author Michael Barrett is writing a book on the great PNE Invincibles team of 1888/9 and has had a poster produced which he is selling as a print
SPORTING ACTION: Author Michael Barrett is writing a book on the great PNE Invincibles team of 1888/9 and has had a poster produced which he is selling as a print
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It was real-life Roy of the Rovers stuff.

And now the incredible story of Preston North End’s “Invincibles” is to be told in comic book fashion.

Author Michael Barrett is writing a book on the great PNE Invincibles team of 1888/9 and has had a poster produced which he is selling as a print to help pay for publication

Author Michael Barrett is writing a book on the great PNE Invincibles team of 1888/9 and has had a poster produced which he is selling as a print to help pay for publication

Author Michael Barrett, who lives just a goal-kick away from the famous Deepdale Stadium, has recruited Roy of the Rovers artist David Sque to illustrate his new book on the legendary North End side which went unbeaten for a season to win the league and FA Cup double in 1888/89.

“It’s looking incredible,” said Michael, 44, who is planning to launch the book in time for next season, with a foreword written by former PNE and Liverpool star and Match of the Day pundit Mark Lawrenson.

“We are more than halfway through it and the pages look amazing.”

To help fund the project, self-publisher Michael has brought out a special David Sque print of Invincible Fred Dewhurst who scored the club’s first-ever league goal.

Michael, who lives in Castleton Road, will be selling copies of the print, which is taken from the front cover of the book, at a Christmas Extravaganza at Heartbeat in Deepdale on Sunday (11am-4pm), with half of the profits going to the charity which helps cardiac patients.

“We are doing the same with Baby Beat at the hospital,” he said. “Mark Lawrenson is a patron of the charity and he has kindly agreed to write the foreword.”

“I’m trying to raise funds to pay for the book because I am producing it and publishing it myself through a company I’ve set up called Invincibles Books.

“I had hoped to get the book out in time for this Christmas, but that hasn’t been possible. So we are aiming at the start of next season.

“It’s a graphic novel in full colour comic book style. The story begins in 1860 and traces the history of the club right up to the end of the season when The Invincibles won the first-ever league and cup double.

“There’s a lot of social history in there as well, including the cotton famine and two Preston Guilds.

“David worked as an illustrator on Roy of the Rovers in the eighties and his work is fantastic. He lives in Spain and I just send him the chapters and he sends them back illustrated. He’s very talented.”

Prints can also be ordered direct from Michael on 01772 561049. For more, see http://www.invinciblebooks.co.uk/