Fans left stranded

Saints fans Leanne, Sue and Ste Winstanley, Jenny Tracey, Colin Regan, Louise Williams, Julie Shukie, Kenny and Chris Eden, Colin Steven, Carole and Brian Farrell and Lindsey McDowell
Saints fans Leanne, Sue and Ste Winstanley, Jenny Tracey, Colin Regan, Louise Williams, Julie Shukie, Kenny and Chris Eden, Colin Steven, Carole and Brian Farrell and Lindsey McDowell
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SAINTS fans were left stranded in Europe after watching their side beat Catalan Dragons.

Forest fires broke out in Spain’s northern Catalonia region on Sunday leaving fans stuck either side of the border with France.

Lindsey McDowell, 28, of Burtonwood, said her group had missed two flights and would not be returning to the UK until Tuesday afternoon.

She said: “We were based in Perpignan (in Southern France) but our flights were booked from Girona Airport just outside Barcelona.

“Once we reached the border on Sunday evening we could see a big cloud of black smoke in the distance and the police said they wouldn’t let our mini-bus cross into Spain. We ended up going back to Perpignan.”

Lindsey’s party booked another flight for Monday morning and attempted their trip again.

“Again when we approached the border we could see the fires smouldering either side of the road. It was quite scary, the bus completely filled up with smoke.”

Her group of 13 Saints fans were forced to wait until the afternoon before being allowed to cross the border.

Lindsey said: “Once we arrived in Barcelona we heard that the border had been closed again so we were lucky to get through. At least we’re south now and can get a flight. Other groups might still be stuck in France.”

Four French people have been confirmed dead as strong winds have hampered efforts to control the blaze.

Lindsey said: “We’ve now had to fork out for another night in a hotel. It was either that or sleep on the floor in the airport.

“We’re relying on our credit cards and have lost money on re-arranging the flights and also the various trips in the bus. The costs are mounting up now for us.

“It’s a lottery whether we’ll get anything back from the insurance company or the airline. We’re all shattered and just want to get back home.”

St Helens won the Super League encounter 20-15 to move above their continental rivals despite Tony Puletua’s sending off.

RIGHT: Forest fires in France