A regional daily has closed its Saturday sports edition, leaving just one such publication remaining in the UK.
The last edition of the Southern Daily Echo’s Sports Pink came out on Saturday after 119 years in print.
The closure of the Southampton-based Pink means the Sports Mail, published by The News in nearby Portsmouth, is the last Saturday sports paper in the country.
The Mail had itself ceased publication in October 2012, but was revived 10 months later in response to reader demand.
It said: “Unfortunately we need more than three full-time staff to keep it going on top of the sports pages of the Echo, Romsey Advertiser, Hampshire Chronicle, Eastleigh Times and Southampton Citizen (plus Winchester Xtra and New Forest Post).
“Unfortunately only around 2,000 now buy the Pink and you may have noticed the absence of any adverts in the last few months.”
The Pink was founded in 1898 as the Football Echo. Among those to pay tribute to the paper was former Daily Echo journalist Jeremy Wilson, who now works for the Daily Telegraph.
He wrote: “The last of The Pink Sports Echo today after 119 yrs. An institution in Southampton – the thought of filing/phoning my first live ‘running’ reports still prompts butterflies.
“Happy days with brilliant ex-colleagues Adam Leitch, Bob Brunskill, non-league legend Wendy Gee and many more.”
Adam himself, the Daily Echo’s chief sports writer, wrote: “It is the end of an era having been a huge part of our football community for so long.
“I am beyond proud to have written for it for 20 years. Farewell old friend.”