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Weekly channels ’66 World Cup win as it covers fans’ protests

A weekly newspaper covered a pitch protest by fans of its local football club by chanelling one of the English game’s greatest moments.

Fans campaigning for a change in the ownership of Reading FC staged a pitch invasion in the 16th minute of last weekend’s game against Port Vale, eventually forcing the match to be abandoned.

Supporters want owner Dai Yongge out after being docked 16 points in recent years and relegated to League One at the end of last season.

Reading Today covered the protest with a wraparound and the front page headline: “Some people are on the pitch. They think it’s all over.  Is it?”


In addition the newspaper’s Reading reporter Andy Preston captured the moment fans went on to the pitch in a video seen by hundreds of thousands, while photographers Steve Smyth and Luke Adams were pitchside taking dramatic – and exclusive – images.

Editor Phil Creighton said fans from across the country had since been in touch requesting a copy.

Phil told HTFP: “It’s no secret that we put a lot of thought into our front pages, and this was no exception.

“Originally, we worked on a concept of a split front page based around the sale of Reading Gaol to an Asian consortium headed by Channing Bi, and the fans desire for the Royals to be sold. This would have been headlined ‘Hi Bi, bye Dai’.

“Looking again at the pictures of Saturday’s protest, the best treatment was a wraparound image that captured the drama.

“The headline? Well, it echoes a certain moment of glory from 1966. We hope the Royals can enjoy success again very soon.”