Emotional 'Knollsy' laps up the love as West Hams fans show support
Emotional ‘Knollsy’ laps up the love from fellow West Ham fans who chant his name as he sports a huge black eye following his viral video in which he single-handedly fought off Dutch ultras
- Chris Knoll, better known as ‘Knollsy’, fought off AZ Alkmaar ultras last week
- He received a standing ovation from West Ham fans during their win over Leeds
- The 58-year-old looked emotional in a new video that has since gone viral
West Ham fan Chis Knoll, better known as ‘Knollsy,’ appeared emotional in a new viral video which sees fans chant his name following his clash with Dutch ultras.
The 58-year-old was widely praised for putting himself in harm’s way to help protect the families of the club’s players after Thursday’s Europa Conference League victory over AZ Alkmaar.
Knoll refused to allow hooded thugs to reach the seating area where the players’ partners and children were seated as he single-handedly fought off Dutch ultras.
The supporter, who was dubbed the ‘Angel of Alkmaar’, received a standing ovation as he attended the Hammers’ 3-1 victory over Leeds on Sunday – sporting a massive black eye.
A new video has now been released in which Knoll appears emotional as West Ham fans chanted his name outside the Carpenters Arms pub, which is a short walk from the London Stadium.
West Ham fan Knollsy appeared emotional as supporters chanted his name outside the Carpenters Arms pub after heroically fighting off Dutch ultras last week
The West Ham fan held off AZ Alkmaar ultras as they attempted to flood into the family stand
It shows scores of fans chanting ‘Knollsy is massive everywhere we go’ outside the pub, with Knoll at one point looking like he is trying to hold back the tears.
One supporter is seen giving the 58-year-old a hug while others attempt to speak to him and one even drops to their knees to salute Knoll, who has become a hero among the club’s fanbase.
After West Ham’s victory over Leeds, the father-of-four was spotted by fellow fans and posed for selfies with a number of them.
He was seen smiling and in good spirits with a bruised left eye outside the London stadium.
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 Mail Sport: ‘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.
Knollsy appeared to be close to tears following the love shown from West Ham supporters
Knoll (left) posed for selfies with fans after West Ham’s 3-1 victory over Leeds on Sunday
The father-of-four refused to allow hooded thugs to reach the seating area where the players’ partners and children were seated
He was seen smiling and in good spirits with a black eye with fans outside London stadium
‘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.’
There have been calls for him to receive free tickets to the Europa Conference League final, and some fans have already begun paying tributes to Knollsy with artwork, posting paintings and drawings of his battle on social media.
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.
One West Ham supporter who witnessed the scrap posted a heartfelt message of thanks and support to Knollsy.
They wrote: ‘A bit of context: we were sitting behind Thilo Kerher’s girlfriend. Knollsy was worried about her and walked to the top of the stairwell, fending off the storming Alkmaar fans. He’s a lovely bloke and did what he felt was right at the time. He stopped those fans.’
The message received a stream of support from other social media users who applauded Knollsy’s actions.
Order was eventually restored and David Moyes’ side could head over to the away end to toast their 3-1 aggregate victory, sealed by Pablo Fornals’ injury-time winner which fired West Ham into next month’s Europa Conference League final.
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.
He was given a standing ovation for helping to protect the families of the club’s players after Thursday’s match against AZ Alkmaar
Knollsy is seen after the confrontation still smiling and in fine fettle despite his torn shirt
After the game, manager David Moyes had said: ‘I can’t explain what happened and why it happened.
‘Players were involved because it was the family section… that was probably the reason for the reaction.
‘I don’t want that in anyway to blight the night because the West Ham fans weren’t looking for trouble. Hopefully they’ll (UEFA) look into it.
‘My family were there and I had friends in that section. You’re hoping they would try and get themselves away from it… I didn’t recognise it because I was too happy.
‘Security wanted to take me inside but I had to make sure my players weren’t involved.’
Some fans have said the club – or players who were so concerned they tried to reach their family during the shocking scenes in the Netherlands – should give Knollsy 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 final on June 7.
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