Knollsy left fighting tears as West Ham reward hero fan with ticket for European final
Chris Knoll, the West Ham supporter nicknamed 'the Angel of Alkmaar' has been given a ticket to next month's Europa Conference League final vs Fiorentina in Prague.
The heroic West Ham supporter dubbed ‘the Angel of Alkmaar’ has been rewarded for his bravery with a ticket to next month’s Europa Conference final.
Chris Knoll, better known as ‘Knollsy’ became an internet sensation last week when footage of him fighting off AZ Alkmaar hooligans went viral. The Hammers fan was in attendance for last week’s second leg in the Netherlands when trouble flared following Pablo Fornals’ late winner.
A group of masked home fans attempted to make their way towards a section filled with family and friends of the West Ham squad. However, Knollsy helped fend off the troublemakers earning the acclaim of both fans and now the club themselves.
The 58-year-old was like many thousands of West Ham fans desperately trying to get their hands on a ticket for the final with Fiorentina in Prague. But in an interview with the Daily Mail he has confirmed a club official has now made his dream come true.
“I am at work and when I got the call today, I nearly cried. I am, so pleased, so happy. I am made up,” he explained. “She said she was sitting two rows behind me and saw what happened. She said I had been very courageous and that I deserved a ticket.
“It's ironic that she was the one who phoned me today. I remember joking with her earlier about whether she could get me a ticket if we got to the final. “I know how difficult it is to get a ticket. I am so happy at this.”
Knollsy was the toast of the Hammers faithful this weekend, and was given a standing ovation during the club’s final Premier League game of the season.
Supporters sang: "We love you Knollsy, we do," as he took his seat in the arena ahead of the clash with Sam Allardyce's Leeds side. Following the shocking scenes in Alkmaar, Knoll has explained why he decided to step in.
He said: "I don't like bullies. You could see they were intent on causing trouble and I did not want them to get to those behind us. I saw them all congregate on the side of the pitch and then they broke down the barriers and headed to the first group of West Ham fans.
"I know what they were intent on doing and was not going to let it happen. It was fairly obvious what was going to happen because they were intent on coming to us. They were the ultras, you could see that from what they were wearing. I just decided I wasn't going to let them come up.
"I just thought the best form of defence would be to get to the top of the stairs where they were coming up and just stood there and tried to stop them. I know they were swinging punches and I just did my best to stand there and take it."