View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

The headlines that never were after England World Cup defeat but team hailed as ‘heroes’ on front pages nonetheless

By Sam Forsdick

Newspapers today led on the news that football is no longer coming home, but as last night’s game stretched into extra time some titles had already prepared headlines for an England win over Croatia.

Ben Peston, executive editor of the Sunday Times shared the cover “that never was” of a mocked-up souvenir programme in anticipation of the Three Lions reaching the final against France.

Ian Carter, editorial director of KM Group, and Denise Eaton, editor of the Kent Messenger, also shared a mock-up of the paper that was being prepared in anticipation of an England win.

The wrap-around cover featured the headline “Dare to dream… It’s coming home” and an image of the successful England team of 1966 lifting the Jules Rimet trophy, still gleaming.

Content from our partners
<a></a>Key ways to futureproof your media career as journalism job cuts bite deep
Slow online ads cost UK publishers £50m a year: Here's how to fix them
Mather Economics and InsurAds combine to help publishers boost revenue

Carter said on Twitter: “We’ve got late deadlines for some of our papers tonight, but it’s still going to be very tight.

“We’ve had to prepare for both outcomes – the thought of printing either makes me feel a bit sick for different reasons.”

The Kent Messenger instead went with the headline “End of the world” following the England defeat.

David Powles, editor of Archant titles the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, tweeted a picture the daily paper’s front page being designed, with the headline “Bring on France” discarded.

The England squad were described as “heroes” and “national treasures” in today’s daily national newspapers despite their 2-1 defeat yesterday.

Andy Walker, senior communications manager for England said on Twitter: “The morning after being 22 minutes from a World Cup final but waking up to these front & back pages confirms the significant progress this England squad has made over the last 7 weeks.”

But not everyone was happy with the British press.

Croatian midfielder Luka Modric told ITV in a post-match interview that the English media had “underestimated Croatia”, adding that had been a “huge mistake”.

“All these words from them, we take, we were reading and we were saying: ‘OK we will see today who will be tired’. Like I said they should be more humble and respectful of the opponents.”

UK national newspaper front pages 12/7/18:


Picture: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network