ACROSS the European Union and far beyond, referendum day dawned with media pleas for the UK to stay in the EU that ranged from the heartfelt to the downright bizarre.

The German tabloid Bild, who devoted many pages and most of their website to the issue, hit on a jolly wheeze to convince "Der Englanders", as they were known in the old Commando comics, to vote Remain.

Back in 1966 – indeed, 50 years ago next month, as we will shortly be constantly reminded – a Russian linesman said Geoff Hurst’s goal that bounced down from the bar had crossed the line to give England a 2-1 lead over West Germany in the World Cup final that England went on to win 4-2.

The arguments weren’t all over then, but they could be now as Bild has offered to recognise finally that Hurst’s goal was legitimate if the UK stays in.That may possibly play well with any German-speaking potential Brexiteers, but someone should let Bild know that their offer will probably not be acceptable in Scotland…

They also promised to stop making jokes about Princes Charles’s ears and said Germans would stop reserving sun loungers in dawn raids on holiday resort swimming pools, and would stop using sun tan lotion in solidarity with peel-wally Brits – at least that’s what it seemed to say in translation.

Magazines and newspapers across the EU were virtually unanimous in asking Brits to remain. El Pais in Spain showed a woman standing in front of Parliament in London holding aloft a “Together Stronger” banner.

The front page of France’s weekly newspaper Marianne said in a banner headline: “Ils sont fou, ces Anglais,” which roughly translates “The English are mad.” Nice of them to keep it to the English.

Le Figaro’s headline was a play on Shakespeare: “To Brexit or not to Brexit.”

In a reference to the London Underground, meanwhile, Swedish tabloid Dagens Nyheter showed a map with the British Isles drifting away from the continent with the headline “Mind The Gap.”

The top-selling daily newspaper in the Netherlands, Algemeen Dagblad, printed the headline "Don’t leave me this way" in English, and splashed the Union Jack right across the front page of yesterday’s edition. One Greek paper had a Union Jack on its front page emblazoned with "Keep Calm and God Save the Queen".

Svenska Dagbladet in Sweden quoted a British pensioner voting for Brexit because Britain doesn’t win the Eurovision Song Contest.

Another Swedish paper, Sydsvenskan, pointed out the Old Etonian backgrounds of David Cameron and Boris Johnson under the headline "Send In The Clowns".

The serious newspaper analysis, however, showed that editors and journalists across the world had done their homework.

Again in Sweden, Aftonbladet’s leader writer Anders Lindberg wrote: “The British vote on the EU could be a satire written to attack the idea of a referendum, were it not so depressing,

In Italy, the headline in the left-leaning La Repubblica daily said simply: “Europe’s longest day".

In the same country, the front page of La Stampa said “the future of Europe has been entrusted to the British vote" and the paper quotes Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, saying that Brexit would hurt the UK more than it would hurt the EU.

Back to the French again, and a succinct analysis from Le Monde referring to the "Disunited Kingdom" and saying: “While English nationalism is alive and kicking, the majority of Scots, Welsh and Irish appear to be pro-Stay.”

In China, the People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s propaganda sheet, said: “If the UK votes to leave, it will become an Atlantic orphan and lose its special relationship with the EU.”

The world awaits. By the time you read this, you will know if so many pleas were heeded.