"Thank you & goodbye," proclaims the final front page, over a spread of memorable scoops exposing the frailties of sports and TV stars, politicians and royalty - the familiar formula that still attracted seven-and-a-half million readers.
This week it could be more. The paper has doubled its print run, calculating that more people will want to mark a moment in history than protest at the alleged phone-hacking of Milly Dowler and victims' relatives, which brought the paper's downfall.
This time last week, no-one could have foreseen that Britain's biggest-selling paper would today be published for the last time.
For Rupert Murdoch, it's a bitter blow, closing the newspaper which - when he bought it 42 years ago - laid the foundations of his media empire, and now threatens to do it serious damage.