West Ham fan ‘Knollsy’ was given a standing ovation by fellow supporters at the London Stadium after battling AZ Alkmaar ultras following their Europa Conference League tie
- Chris Knoll, 58, has been praised for standing up for the family of West Ham players
- Known as ‘Knollsy’, the West Ham fan took on the AZ Alkmaar ultras in midweek
- Supporters gave him a heroes welcome at the London Stadium on Sunday
West Ham fan Chris Knoll, known as ‘Knollsy’, was given a standing ovation by his fellow supporters for helping to protect the families of the club’s players after their match against AZ Alkmaar on mid week
The 58-year-old was widely praised for putting himself in harm’s way in the aftermath of West Ham’s victory over the Dutch side in the Europa Conference League semi-final on Thursday.
Knoll refused to allow the hooded thugs access to the seating area where the players’ partners and children sat.
The fThe father-of-four, who is recovering from hip replacement therapy, was spotted by fellow fans as he took his seat to watch West Ham’s home match against Leeds on Saturday.
Supporters gave ‘Knollsy’, who has been dubbed the ‘Angel of Alkmaar’, a standing ovation.
West Ham fans gave supporter Knollsy a standing ovation before their game at Leeds
The 58-year-old, who still has a black eye, received a hero’s reaction from his fellow fans
Dutch ultras were held back by West Ham fans as they attempted to flow through the family stand
Fans were also heard shouting ‘We love you Knollsy, we do’.
Knoll played down the praise that followed him which went viral on social media, with footage of him fighting at least half a dozen AK Alkmaar ultras going around the world.
He was pictured after his shirt was torn, but still smiling.
He told MailOnline: ‘I’m not a hero. I just did what I had to do. There was another man who fought with them.
‘I don’t like bullies and I just have to try and stop them.
‘I just thought the best form of defense was attack. You can see they intend to cause trouble and I don’t want them to get to those behind us.’
On Friday afternoon, West Ham and France goalkeeper Alphonse Areola called Knoll a ‘legend’ while his wife Marrion Areola Valette added he was the ‘biggest hero’ on a historic night for the Hammers.
Some fans said the club – or players who were so concerned they tried to reach their families – should give him tickets for the final in the Czech capital Prague as a way of thanking him for his heroics. .
West Ham will face Italian side Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on June 7.
News/Image Sources: Daily Mail