A former head coach at Haverhill Rugby Club has said only good fortune prevented him being affected by a terrorist bomb blast in Budapest.
Martin Hughes, who stood down from his role at the club before this season began, was in the Hungarian capital when two police officers were injured, one seriously, by a home-made nail bomb in Teresa Körút (meaning boulevard) at 10.30pm on Saturday, September 24.
Martin, who lives in Haverhill and works in the town at MazeRattan, was attending the LOFA (Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association) annual conference and staying at the five-star Corinthia Hotel on Erzsébet Körút, just 100 yards from the scene of the explosion, when he witnessed the immediate aftermath.
He said: “There were all these people running and police and ambulances and fire engines rushing down the road and I thought, ‘I’m going back into the hotel.’
“People were coming back and saying there’s a gas leak and I thought nothing of it and the hotel was cordoned off and you couldn’t use the front entrance.
“There were armed police walking along and I said to my partner ‘that’s not a gas leak.’
“It was a bit scary. Where it happened there is a bar that we were in just the night before.
“On the Sunday we were told just to be a bit vigilant. Whereas on the Friday night we had all been sat out having a laugh and a joke and having a drink, I thought ‘Christ, 24 hours ago there was a bomb went off’, it kind of gave it a bit of an edge.
“If we had been out walking it could have been totally different.”
Martin left Budapest on Monday, having arrived on the Friday morning.