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Saturday sports paper

In the UK, a Saturday sports paper is a local newspaper published on a Saturday evening containing information about sports matches played on that day. Throughout most of the twentieth century they were very popular, representing one of the few up to date sources of information available to sports fans. More recently, however, circulations have fallen and many have ceased publication.

Saturday sports papers were published locally, with a different paper produced in each area covering local teams in depth. They were often connected to the local newspaper. In Cardiff, for example, the Western Mail and Echo published the South Wales Sport Echo (previously the Football Echo.)[1] In all areas Saturday sports papers were commonly nicknamed according to the colour of the paper they were printed on, which usually was not white. The "sports pink" or "green 'un" were common names.[1][2]

Most Saturday sports papers focus on football, providing match reports of games involving local teams and a full listing of final scores. Many also cover other traditional sports such as rugby[2] or cricket[1] and some have expanded into covering newer sports such as ice hockey.[3] Saturday sports papers are published as soon after full-time as possible. Cardiff's South Wales Sports Echo was available to buy within twenty minutes of the end of the game, featuring half-time reports and full-time scores, with a fuller edition later in the evening.[1] Many sports fans have fond memories of going out to buy a Saturday sports paper as soon as it was printed to find out how their team had done.[4]

Before the advent of radio, Saturday sports papers were the only way most fans had of finding out sporting results[4] and consequently they were very popular, some with circulations of more than 50,000.[1] Since the start of the 21st century, however, Saturday sports papers have declined. Birmingham's Sports Argus, which used to be the biggest selling Saturday sports paper in the country, was one of many to be forced to close, publishing its last issue on 13 May 2006.[5] Those that remain have seen declining sales[2] or have switched to providing websites.[6]

A number of factors have adversely affected the popularity of Saturday sports papers. Televised sport means that matches (particularly football) frequently do not take place on Saturday afternoons so they cannot be adequately covered by a Saturday evening publication. Another issue is the rise of alternative sources of information. The internet, mobile phones and teletext services also allow sports fans to follow their team's progress without the need for Saturday sports papers.[1]

Contents

Remaining titlesEdit

At the end of the 2015-16 football season, there were only two remaining Saturday sports papers in existence. Portsmouth's Sports Mail had originally ran from 1903 until 2012, but was resurrected for the 2013-14 season. It has since moved its publication date to a Sunday. [7][8]

This left the Southern Daily Echo's Sports Pink as the final remaining sports paper still published on a Saturday evening.[9]

Notable former examplesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Final whistle for sports 'pink', BBC News, 15 January 2006
  2. ^ a b c The end of Saturday sports papers?, The Independent, 9 January 2006
  3. ^ Following Manchester Storm, intothestorm.co.uk
  4. ^ a b Will's magic weekend, BBC
  5. ^ Birmingham sport paper to close, Press Gazette, 14 April 2006
  6. ^ Papers close Saturday sports editions in online move, HoldtheFrontPage.co.uk, 31 May 2007
  7. ^ "Revived Saturday sports paper set to close unless more readers found". holdthefrontpage.co.uk. 19 Apr 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  8. ^ Neil, Allen (30 September 2016). "Last Chance for an Old Friend". Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  9. ^ "The Pink". Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Neil, Allen (16 April 2016). "Why it could be farewell to an old Pompey friend". portsmouth.co.uk. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  11. ^ "Press delete". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "Final whistle for sports 'pink'". bbc.co.uk. 15 January 2006. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  13. ^ Stephen, Bierley. "The Pink slips into the sunset". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  14. ^ "Final whistle for MEN Sunday Pink". holdthefrontpage.co.uk. 25 Jun 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2016.