Newcastle United’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur was suspended before half-time after a medical emergency was reported in the crowd at St. James’ Park.

The game was a highly anticipated one for Newcastle fans as it was the first since a Saudi-backed consortium took over.

However, with the hosts 2-1 down to Tottenham and approaching the last five minutes of the first half, play was stopped due to an apparent emergency in the crowd.

Players including Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon and Eric Dier were seen desperately gesturing for medics to attend the scene as referee Andre Marriner initially allowed the two teams to have a drinks break before ordering the players into the dressing rooms.

No immediate details were made available regarding the incident, with a crowd announcement simply stating that play had been suspended due to a medical emergency.

Newcastle had made the perfect start to the afternoon when they took the lead through Callum Wilson after only two minutes, but Tottenham struck back from goals by Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane.

Tottenham were preparing to take a corner in the Newcastle half when the concerning incident in the crowd caught the players’ attention and they alerted the referee.

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England ace Dier was seen gesturing for medical staff to attend the scene with a defibrillator device used to aid someone who is in cardiac arrest, although it is unclear whether that was the issue.

Newcastle’s social media accounts later updated fans with a message reading: “The supporter who was in need of urgent medical assistance has been stabilised and is on their way to hospital. Our thoughts are with them.”

The players did eventually return to the pitch after a break, with seven minutes being added on to the first half.

The atmosphere was understandably somewhat flat, and was worsened when Tottenham forward Son Heung-min added to his team’s lead before the first-half whistle had blown.

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Newcastle fans had started the day in celebratory mood as they welcomed the arrival of their new Saudi owners after a £305 million ($420 million) takeover.

The Geordie faithful bid farewell to widely reviled former owner Mike Ashley, with the promise of Saudi money flowing into the club to revive their fortunes after 14 years under Ashley’s stewardship.