Share this @internewscast.com
West Ham fan ‘Knollsy’ is given a standing ovation by fellow supporters at the London Stadium as he sports a massive black eye after fighting off AZ Alkmaar ultras following their Europa Conference League tie
- Chris Knoll, 58, has been praised for defending the families of West Ham players
- Known as ‘Knollsy’, the Hammers fan fought off AZ Alkmaar ultras in midweek
- Supporters gave him a heroes welcome at the London Stadium on Sunday
West Ham fan Chris Knoll, better known as ‘Knollsy’, was given a standing ovation at the London Stadium on Sunday for helping to protect the families of the club’s players after Thursday’s match against AZ Alkmaar.
The 58-year-old has been 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.
Knoll refused to allow hooded thugs to reach the seating area where the players’ partners and children were seated.
The 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 Sunday.
Supporters gave a standing ovation to ‘Knollsy’, who has also been dubbed the ‘Angel of Alkmaar’.
West Ham fans gave a standing ovation to supporter Knollsy ahead of their game with Leeds
The 58-year-old, still sporting a black eye, received a hero’s welcome from his fellow fans after fighting off AZ Alkmaar ultras on Thursday
The West Ham fan held off Dutch ultras as they attempted to flood into the family stand
Fans were also reportedly heard chanting ‘We love you Knollsy, we do’.
Knoll had played down the praise which followed him going viral on social media, with footage of him fighting off at least half a dozen AK Alkmaar ultras having gone worldwide.
He was pictured afterwards with his shirt torn, but still smiling.
He told MailOnline: ‘I’m not a hero. I just did what I had to do. There was another guy who was fending them off.
‘I don’t like bullies and just had to try and stop them.
‘I just thought the best form of defence was to attack. You could see they were intent of causing trouble and I did not want them to get to those behind us.’
On Friday, 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 have said the club – or players who were so concerned they tried to reach their family – should give him tickets for the final in the Czech capital Prague as a way of thanks for his heroism.
West Ham will face Italian side Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on June 7.
UEFA’s disciplinary body is set to review the footage and reports from the AFAS Stadium and decide on what further action should be taken.
Punishments could follow for both teams and will be decided upon once UEFA’s investigation has been completed.
Knoll was praised on social media for helping to protect the families of West Ham players
AZ Alkmaar supporters had attempted to gain access to the family area after their side’s loss