Journalists at the Leicester Mercury had half an hour to turn around a special edition, on sale this morning, after the city’s football club won the Premier League just before 10pm last night.
Their efforts paid off as the first edition sold out a special second print run was sent to newstands this afternoon.
The club won the league, for the first time in its 132-year history, after Chelsea drew with Tottenham, meaning second-placed Spurs could not catch up with the Foxes.
Interim Leicester Mercury editor Rob Irvine told Press Gazette: “We printed many thousands of extra copies but it’s selling so fast that we have ordered an additional print run of many thousands more that will be on the newsstands this afternoon.
“It’s been a phenomenal success and not surprisingly people in the Leicester area are wanting their souvenir edition of the Mercury. Everyone who has got a car is getting papers out.”
It’s not only print sales that have seen a boost, the Mercury website’s traffic is at four times its normal level in what Rob described as a “bumper day” for the site as the team prepare a “special paper” for tomorrow.
“The front 15 pages will be dedicated to City and a number of pages at the back,” he said. “The excitement continues on through the week until we get to Saturday when City play Everton and will get the trophy.”
On Monday the paper is planning to run a special picture supplement ahead of the trophy parade, which has yet to be organised.
As unlikely title winners, Leicester’s story has been picked up across the globe. Said Rob: “We have had journalists from Australia, South Africa and Mexico call up to talk to us and I think this is because it’s a football fairytale story and, in an era when the superteams win everything, Leicester have come along and stolen the prize from under their noses.”
Rob was watching the match in the newsroom as he was preparing today’s edition and his team of reporters covered it live. The game finished at 9.56pm giving them “a very short period of time to put together a champions’ paper” before the final deadline of 10.30pm that included a wrap and several pages of coverage in the front as well as in the sports pages.
Added Rob: “We’ve got a really busy couple of weeks ahead but the editorial team have done a marvellous job in covering this historic event. It’s very exciting to be the talk of the whole world.”