Controlled explosion at Old Trafford after United game abandoned

The bomb disposal squad was called to Old Trafford to carry out a controlled explosion after a suspect package led to Manchester United’s game with Bournemouth being abandoned.

United’s final home game of the season was initially delayed by 45 minutes after police were notified of a mysterious parcel in the North-West Quadrant of the stadium before kick-off.

Sniffer dogs were brought in after the Stretford End and Sir Alex Ferguson Stand were evacuated and the game was called off 15 minutes after the fixture was originally set to get underway.

Greater Manchester Police assistant chief constable John O’Hare said in a statement: “We don’t make these decisions lightly and we have done this today to ensure the safety of all those attending.”

The Premier League announced later that evening that the rearranged fixture would take place on Tuesday night.

“We can confirm that today’s abandoned fixture between Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth will be played Tuesday 17 May at 8 p.m.,” the statement read.

“We would like to thank Manchester United’s staff, the police and other emergency services for all their efforts today as well as rearranging the match for this coming Tuesday.

“Both Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth’s management has been extremely helpful.”

An earlier statement read: “The decision to abandon the Manchester United versus AFC Bournemouth match was taken after the police advised of the necessity to deal with a suspect package.

“When it comes to matters of security it is obviously right that Manchester United and the Premier League place the safety of supporters and employees foremost.

“It is always the last resort to abandon one of our fixtures and while we apologise for the inconvenience caused to fans we are sure, in the circumstances, they will appreciate the need to do so.”