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Simonsen admits Stoke players were calling for parachutes!

Stoke City goalkeeper Steve Simonsen admits their jet drama was no laughing matter.

Potters players, on the way home from the Carling Cup thrashing at Portsmouth on Tuesday, alerted cabin crew to a burning smell.

The air-conditioning was switched off as a precaution, which made conditions unbearably hot inside the plane, and the pilot made an emergency landing at Gatwick.

Fire crews waited to meet the jet when it touched down in West Sussex - fortunately, they were not needed.

Simonsen said: "What happened was just incredible. It was pretty eventful to say the least.

"The flight conditions were perfect and everything was going smoothly until about 20 minutes in there was a strange smell coming through the plane - like a burning smell.

"There was no smoke or flames, it wasn't that dramatic, but the pilot followed the emergency procedure and took us to the nearest airport.

"When you're in that sort of situation you just want to get back down safely on the ground and, thankfully, that's what we did. We weren't bothered about where we ended up.

"We tried to laugh it all off and there weren't too many worried people around. There were a few lads that had their parachutes ready!

"Things don't always go to plan and bad things can happen - but everybody was home and safe and we live to fight another day."

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