A MARSDEN couple today told of their fears after a bomb scare halted a soccer match at Real Madrid's Bernabeu Stadium.
Mark and Yvette Smith were enjoying the match against Real Sociedad as part of a weekend break in Spain.
But they, 70,000 spectators and world-famous players including David Beckham and Luis Figo had to evacuate the stadium after a bomb threat to a Spanish newspaper.
The caller claimed the bomb would go off at 9pm last night and officials evacuated the stadium with just two minutes of the game to go.
Mrs Smith, who works in the editorial department of the Examiner, said: "It was a little scary.
"The game suddenly stopped and players started leaving the field.
"There was an announcement over the tannoy that we had to leave, and a man sitting beside me said it was because of a bomb threat.
"Some people jumped on to the pitch and started running but there was no real panic. People got out of the stadium very quickly.
"We were too scared to use the underground trains running from the stadium and we walked back to our hotel with thousands of others."
The bomb threat was reported to a Basque newspaper and soccer officials said they acted on a "credible" threat, but no device was found.
The Bernabeu was targeted by Basque separatist group Eta on May 1, 2002, when Madrid were to play FC Barcelona in a Champions League semi-final. A car bomb exploded in a street outside the stadium and 17 people were slightly injured.
Referee Lizondo Cortes halted last night's game with the score at 1-1.
In an unusual move, fans were allowed to walk across the pitch to the exits.
A threat phoned in to the Basque newspaper Gara said a device was set to explode at the stadium at 9pm (2000 GMT). The stadium was evacuated at 8.45pm (1945 GMT).