Newspaper headlines on EU referendum day

A man walking past ballot boxes to be used for the EU referendum Image copyright Reuters

As voters go to the polls in the EU referendum, the issue dominates Thursday's front pages.

However, the BBC and other broadcasters are restricted to reporting only factual accounts of the events, in line with election day rules.

Turning from the front pages to the back, the headlines feature a host of Iceland-related puns, including: "Time to break the ice", "Nice one my sson" and "the Icemen cometh".

It follows the news that England will play Iceland in the next round of the Euro 2016 football tournament.

The Times says Iceland's injury-time winner against Austria was the "goal that gave England hope" because it spared Roy Hodgson's men a second-round match with Portugal.

Image copyright AP

The Sun agrees, saying the goal "saves us" from Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo.

But it seems Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has no fear of his side's next opponent, as the paper quotes him saying: "England is the one we wanted."

'Famous geysers'

The Express agrees that Iceland have a chance.

Under the headline "reasons to be afraid", it says Iceland's weapons include long throws, set pieces and "plenty of big men".

The Mirror tells its readers about "a few famous geysers" from Iceland.

These include singer Bjork, former Mastermind presenter Magnus Magnusson and Hafthor Bjornsson - who plays Gregor "the Mountain" Clegane in TV show Game of Thrones.

Ireland will join Iceland in the next round, after their 1-0 win over Italy set up a knockout match with France.

Image copyright AP

Martin O'Neill's side "made hard work" of a much-changed Italian side which had already won the group, the Sun says.

But the Mail says Ireland "thundered through a string of early tackles" and played with energy and ambition before Robbie Brady's late winner.


Festival-goers trying to reach Glastonbury were stranded in their cars for up to 14 hours due to heavy rain and "mud-clogged roads", the Times reports.

It says the local MP called it "carmageddon" and said he would write to festival organisers to complain about the impact on the people of Somerset.

It was "muddy hell for gridlocked fans", the Daily Star says, adding that organisers asked visitors who hadn't already left to stay at home until the congestion cleared.

Image copyright AFP

The Mail quotes one festival-goer who said she finally saw Glastonbury 26 hours after setting off.

"Queue the music" is the headline in the Mirror, but it says forecasters have predicted better weather on Thursday.

'Fast-food explosion'

The "growing popularity of junk food deliveries to schools" has prompted public health leaders to call for a ban, the Times reports.

It says figures from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) show a quarter of young people have ordered burgers, pizzas or curries to their schools.

Writing in the paper, Duncan Stephenson of the RSPH says the "explosion in the number of fast-food takeaways" has played a part in the "epidemic" of childhood obesity, and he calls for a ban on deliveries to schools.

Eye-catching headlines:

  • Fearless maiden takes on the knights: Britain is set to see its first competitive joust between a man and a woman, as Nicky Willis - or Lady Nicolette of St Reatham - takes to the saddle at Kenilworth Castle this weekend, the Times reports.
  • Unilever to drop sexist stereotypes from its ads: The owner of brands including Dove and Lynx has pledged to remove sexist stereotypes from its advertising after research suggested just 2% showed intelligent women, the Guardian says.
  • Proof pushy parents give pupils blues: A five-year study has concluded that "intrusive" parenting can lead to depression and anxiety in children, the Express reports.
  • Rio games mascot shot dead after torch ceremony: A jaguar chosen as mascot for the forthcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics has been shot after it escaped its handlers and attacked a soldier, the i says.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Four tranquiliser darts failed to stop the female jaguar, named Juma, before it was killed

Several papers report on golfer Rory McIlroy's decision to pull out of the Rio Olympics, citing fears over the Zika virus.

The Mirror says McIlroy, who was to compete for Ireland, plans to become a dad and said his family's health "comes before anything else".

Zika, which is carried by mosquitoes, is linked to brain defects in newborn babies, the paper adds.

McIlroy said he was "unwilling" to take the health risk, the Telegraph reports.

But it says his decision - which comes two months after he spent a holiday in Zika-affected Barbados - led to "speculation that other factors could be involved".

There have been suggestions that top professionals are prioritising other tournaments over the Olympics, it adds.

Image copyright AFP

The Times says McIlroy is unlikely to be the last high-profile golfer to pull out of the Rio games.

Matt Dickinson, the paper's chief sports writer, says his decision is "just the latest blow to a competition that already had enough detractors".

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Metro: Manchester United ace David De Gea silences his critics with one brilliant Twitter post