Final whistle for the ‘pink ’un’: British football’s last-surviving matchday newspaper closes

After 119 years, Portsmouth’s Saturday evening Sports Mail has printed its last issue. A dedicated reader bids this singular British institution a fond farewellIt’s been the slowest of deaths, but yesterday the “Saturday final” edition of a singular British institution will be just that. While in the last 20 years beloved pink ’uns and green ’uns (and the occasional blue ’un and buff ’un) have disappeared from towns and cities across the country, Portsmouth’s Saturday evening Sports Mail, 119 years old, held out as the last remaining dedicated matchday newspaper. It was first closed down in 2012 but quickly resurrected at the impassioned demand of fans of Pompey, the island city’s club. This time, the obituary is to be believed.With it goes a century of a particular collective memory: that Saturday evening ritual of heading up to the local newsagent at 5.30 or 5.45 to await the mundane miracle of a stack of fat papers slung from the back of a van reporting from all across the city what had ended only an hour before, ink still smudgeable on banner headlines.

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