The Rise of The Invincibles

Michael Barrett is writing a graphic novel about the birth and early days of Preston North End. It will be illustrated by former Roy of the Rovers artist David Sque and have a foreward by Mark Lawrenson.

Michael has launched a raffle for fans to be illustrated in a modern day crowd scene that features at the beginning of the book - with all raffle proceeds going to The Baby Beat Appeal charity. Raffle tickets are currently on sale in the club shop and other venues.

For more information about the book, visit his website: ; follow him on Twitter: @InvincibleBooks and/or like his Facebook page:

UPDATE: Special A3 size art print now available. See here for more details.

Question & Answers

Tell us briefly about the book.
Well, it’s a full-colour, graphic novel about the birth and early success of the North End.
It features all the action and drama of North End’s journey towards becoming the first ever winners of the League and FA Cup double in the 1888-89 season – a feat they achieved by going the whole of campaign undefeated, whilst not conceding even one goal throughout their FA Cup run!
12 chapters, of gorgeous illustrations span the 1860s through to 1889; taking in along the way, The Industrial Revolution, American Civil War, Lancashire Cotton Famine and two Preston Guilds – thus naturally offering a brief social history alongside that of a football club. And as Prestonians know, this is not just any football club!

And what style is it in?
It’s a modern graphic novel, but with a nod towards the old football comics, such as Hotspur, and Roy of the Rovers. It’s definitely a book for all ages, but will hold a special touch of nostalgia for some!
The graphic novel is in the ascendency. It is such an exciting and versatile way of telling a story. There are all kinds of graphic novels out there these days, and I think it’s the perfect way to present the story of the Invincibles!

Are you doing the artwork as well as writing the story?
No, the illustrations are being done by the legendary, David Sque, the man who illustrated the Roy of the Rovers comics throughout the 70s and 80s! It’s a real coup for the project to have David on board – as well as an honour for me to collaborate with him.

What inspired you to write a graphic novel about the Invincibles?
I was born in Deepdale, just minutes from the ground, and I’ve been aware of the Invincibles from an early age. And first came across them when I saw the mural that used to be at the back of the old Pavilion Stand. The very nature of their nickname conjures a sense of comic book-heroes – they sparked my imagination straightaway!

Have you had much interest in the book?
So far the response has been fantastic! I’ve received emails from the USA, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Europe! That’s the thing about Preston North End, every football fan around the world knows of them. They hold a special place in football history - and no doubt, a special place in its future too!

And the raffle?
The raffle gives supporters the chance to be in the book. We’ll be drawing out 5 female and 5 male winners – these will then be illustrated into a modern day crowd scene at Deepdale, which will feature at the beginning of the book. As well as being illustrated in the book, winners will receive one free copy, and two tickets to our official launch night, which will double as a Baby Beat fundraiser, and will be held in The Great Room, at the Sir Tom Finney Stand, (courtesy of The Villa at North End), at a date next season.


**Above image copyright of Michael Barrett & David Sque **