Football: Singaporean's 1st trip to Theatre of Dreams ends with bomb scare

Sniffer dogs search the West Stand after fans are evacuated from Old Trafford.
Sniffer dogs search the West Stand after fans are evacuated from Old Trafford. PHOTO: EPA

It was Singaporean Khoo Yap Meng's first trip to Old Trafford. Unfortunately, the product marketing executive with SPH Digital experienced a nightmare at the Theatre of Dreams.

This, after he failed to see his heroes in action following the abandonment of last night's Premier League finale against Bournemouth owing to the discovery of a suspicious package in the stands.

Police later carried out a "controlled explosion" on the package.

Said Khoo, 29, who is backpacking around Europe: "I went about two hours earlier and spent that time walking around, getting souvenirs.

"I was seated at the North-West quadrant. Twenty minutes before kick-off, they announced over the PA (public address) for people sitting in that quadrant to evacuate.

"We left the stadium and then went outside, and were asked to stand closer to the carpark, which is further away from that part of the stadium.

"A lot of people were grumbling. While we were outside, the stewards told us that the game was delayed for 45 minutes. Then 10 minutes later, they announced that the game had been abandoned.

"It was frustrating initially because no one knew what was going on. They just told us to move away from the ground.

"I had no access to data, but some of the locals told us that they had actually found a bomb.

"At first, I felt frustrated because this is my first time here. But after I learnt what was going on, and that the bomb had been found in the quadrant where I was seated, I felt relieved actually."

Khoo hopes the match will be rescheduled within the next few days as he will still be in the region till the end of next week. "If they hold it by then, I can always change my travel plans," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2016, with the headline 'Singaporean's 1st trip to Theatre of Dreams ends with bomb scare'. Print Edition | Subscribe