The better the story, the easier it is to write a headline. So with two great football stories to report last night, as Harry Redknapp was cleared of tax evasion charges and Fabio Capello stepped down as England manager, editors were fairly sure of hitting the back of the net.
HARRY WALKS, FABIO RUNS summed it up beautifully for the Times. This is one of those back page headlines that (not unlike SUPER CALEY GO BALLISTIC) gives sub-editors a tingling “what a goal!” feeling.
Delving behind the scenes, we find the credit goes to Times sports editor Tim Hallissey. While he usually leaves it up to the subs desk to come up with the headlines, for a big story like this “I become a bit of a glory-hunter and want to do it myself,” he says. “I was just looking for a few words that would sum up both stories as simply as possible but leave a mark.”
Which it certainly did, generating compliments on Twitter as the first editions rolled out last night. (Somehow, for me, the Star’s HARRY FREE AS FABIO FLEES doesn’t work quite so well, though it’s a similar concept – the rhyming makes it too obvious.)
It was a brace for News International, in fact, as the Sun’s splash ARRYVEDERCI (credited to night editor Will Hagerty) summed up its instant campaign for the Tottenham Hotspur manager to pick up the England mantle.
Will he? Won’t he? Spurs won’t want to see him go, but for subs it would open up a whole new world of puns.