Bungling police officers nearly caused Wolves’ big promotion party to be called off – after accidentally leaving a fake 'bomb' in the stadium.
Officers had mistakenly left the imitation explosive device in an executive box at Molineux during an earlier training exercise.
Terrified supporters discovered the device and raised the alarm, resulting in the executive area of the Steve Bull Stand being evacuated.
Unbeknownst to thousands of jubilant fans, there were serious doubts that the game would even go ahead in the minutes leading up to kick off.
Eventually officers discovered the error and calm was restored, but an investigation has now been launched by West Midlands Police into how the ‘bomb’ was left inside Molineux.
And police chiefs confirmed they have received an official complaint about the incident.
Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey said they had expressed concerns to police in the ‘strongest manner possible’.
He added: “Understandably, this incident caused significant distress to the individual supporters concerned and we have, of course, been in close dialogue with the specific box holder.
“However, although only a small number of our fans were affected, it could easily have resulted in a wide scale evacuation of the stadium which, under the circumstances, would have had more serious implications.
“We have been in contact with West Midlands Police and explained our concerns in the strongest possible manner.”
Mr Moxey said he was satisfied police had acted quickly and responsibly by issuing a full apology and launching an investigation, and reassured supporters Molineux was a safe venue to visit.
Goals from Sam Ricketts, Michael Jacobs and Nouha Dicko won the game 3-0 for Wolves, who lifted the League One trophy after the match had finished.
Any kick-off delay or postponement could have had serious ramifications, as opponents Carlisle were fighting relegation and league rules stipulate all final matches of the season must kick off at the same time, to prevent any side gaining an advantage.
Chief Inspector Ian Marsh, Silver Commander for the match, said: “An imitation explosive device was found in an executive box at Molineux Stadium on Saturday during the match against Carlisle United. It had been placed there during a training exercise.
"Whilst the device posed no danger to anyone we appreciate it may have caused concern for the supporters who found it and we apologise for any distress it caused.
“We’ve received a complaint and will respond to this in due course.
“The matter has been referred to West Midlands Police Professional Standards Department who will look into the incident and advise on any learning that may arise.”Subscribe to our Newsletter