A Chester dad who was among thousands of Manchester United fans asked to leave Old Trafford after a ‘bomb scare’ yesterday said the decision by police to evacuate was ‘very understandable’.
Long time United supporter Bernard Concannon from Little Stanney and his 21-year-old son Michael had been at the match about to watch their team play Bournemouth when the game was suddenly called off after police discovered a ‘suspicious device’ in the toilets.
The discovery prompted a dramatic evacuation of Old Trafford while police carried out a controlled explosion on the ‘bomb’, which was later found to be a training device accidentally left by a private company following a training exercise.
But while Manchester United bosses have been left red-faced following the blunder and thousands of football fans were left disappointed, Mr Concannon said he knew such actions were not taken lightly by police.
“There was a sense of calm among all the supporters; I guess football fans in general are co-operative these days under such seriously potential circumstances but you do automatically start to think of your family when things like this happen,” he told The Chronicle.
“We had all been seated watching the players warm up and were looking forward to the imminent kick off when we were suddenly informed that a ‘Code Red’ evacuation was taking place and we were directed to the main car park behind the West Stand where we had to wait for further announcements over the tannoy.
“It was disappointing the game never went ahead and we had to leave under the uncertain circumstances but I know these kind of actions are not taken lightly by the club safety officers and the police.
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“They are there to protect the general public at all costs which is very understandable,” he added.
It’s not the first time in recent weeks that Mr Concannon has experienced some drama whilst going to watch his beloved team - he was also present at last week’s away game at West Ham when the Reds team bus was targeted by opposing fans who threw bottles at the windows after it arrived late.