“We may have lost our jobs and our way of life. But we haven't lost the pride we took in our work or our fighting spirit and ability to listen to readers who take the time to talk to us.”
These are the defiant words of columnist, Anna Smith, in today's Scottish News of the World, as the paper, UK-wide, publishes for the last time.
With the words, 'Thank you & Goodbye', on its front page, issue number 8,674 of the News of the World includes a facsimile of the paper's first edition, a review of the paper's charitable work, and a listing of the crooks that have been 'nailed' by the paper (including by investigative journalist, the 'Fake Sheik', Mazher Mahmood).
The paper's Scottish political editor, Euan McColm, meanwhile writes: “Frankly, the complete implosion of this newspaper could not have come at a more irritatingly inconvenient time for me. I am sorry that I won't have the same ringside seat as we move towards [First Minister, Alex] Salmond's long-cherished referendum [on Scottish independence].”
With the paper devoting its advertising space to charities, including the Terrence Higgins Trust, with a number given more than one slot, a 48-page souvenir pullout comprises News of the World front page down the years, including April 12 1912 (the sinking of the Titanic), September 10 1945 (America dropping the atomic bomb on Japan), June 9 1963 (Christine Keeler and the Profumo Affair) and September 22 1996 (Bishop of Argyll runs away with his lover). Scots, Tommy Sheridan, Gordon Ramsay, Hugh Dallas and John Leslie also feature.
Another pullout, this time comprising four pages, catalogues the specifically Scots crime exclusives the paper has run.
But a substantial sports section – including football match reports from friendly matches involving Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen and Hearts, among others – shows it is business as usual in large sections of the paper, including six pages devoted to this weekend's music festival, T in the Park.