Former Warriors star tells of Sharm el-Sheikh holiday hell

Mickey Higham with his wife, Kate, and sons Harry and Alex, in their hotel room in Egypt
Mickey Higham with his wife, Kate, and sons Harry and Alex, in their hotel room in Egypt
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FORMER Wigan Warriors ace Micky Higham was among those stuck in Egypt amid security threats and has spoken of his family’s holiday hell.

Flights to and from Sharm el-Sheikh were cancelled last week after it was discovered a bomb was possibly smuggled into the hold of a Russain jet on October 31, which crashed, killing 224 people.

We are certainly glad to be home. I have never been so happy to see the Astley turn-off

Micky Higham

Two easyJet flights left Sharm el-Sheikh on Friday morning, but other passengers were sent back to their hotels, with the airline saying Egyptian authorities had prevented a further eight planes from arriving. Egypt’s civil aviation ministry said the numbers were limited by airport capacity.

Higham, who played 97 times for the Warriors, was among a number of locals stranded in the resort.

The 35-year-old, currently with Leigh Centurions, returned to his Astley home on Monday morning - five days after he was due to fly back with his wife, Kate, and two sons, Harry, 10 and Alex, six.

He told the Wigan Observer: “We flew to Egypt on Thursday, October 29 before it all happened and then a few days after the tragedy, we received texts about it from family.

“On the Wednesday, November 4, people went to the airport to be told flights were cancelled. Our flight was on Thursday, November 5. We got on the coach ready but were then told we could not go.

“On Sunday morning Thomson had put a notice up saying three flights would join together that evening. We had an armed escort at the airport, which is quite unsettling. We could only take one piece of hand luggage each.

“All larger cases have been labelled up and will follow us. But I don’t know how airport staff will cope, as the airport is full of suitcases. We are certainly glad to be home. I have never been so happy to see the Astley turn-off.”

Sarah Morris from Ince was also left stranded in the Coral Sea Holiday Village in Sharm el-Sheikh with her nine-year-old son Callum.

The 39-year-old said: “It’s been very scary due to amount of speculation. Staff from Thomson have been amazing and everyone has been told to just enjoy their holiday. Extra police were drafted in and we didn’t let terrorists ruin our holiday.” Leigh honeymooners Andrew and Lindsey Thompson were also stranded. Andrew said: “Some people were upset and frightened, while others were just getting on with their holiday.”