West Ham fan given hero's welcome following viral clash with Dutch fans

West Ham fan given hero's welcome following viral clash with Dutch fans
Chaos erupts as AZ Alkmaar fans invade West Ham's family section in …

A West Ham fan received a heroes welcome at the club’s most recent game after helping to fend off rival team AZ Alkmaar ultras days prior.

58-year-old Chris Knoll, known affectionately as Knollsy, was involved in helping to fend off hooligans on Thursday (18 May) during West Ham’s away match against Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League.

Along with another fan, Knollsy defended the area where the family and friends of West Ham players and staff sat as a mob of ultras tried to reach them.

Despite Knollsy saying in an interview that he is “no hero”, it would appear fellow West Ham fans disagree as he was given a standing ovation at the team’s home game against Leeds United on Sunday (21 May).

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A clip of fans chanting, “We love you Knollsy, we do” was shared on TikTok, while other fans reported he was given a standing ovation as he took his seat in the stadium.


Last week he held back AZ Alkmaar ultras who tried to break into the area where the West Ham Players families were sitting. What a legend! #WestHam #Knollsy #COYI

Someone tweeted: “Standing ovation on arrival for Knollsy.”

Another fan wrote: “Knollsy has just received a standing ovation on his way to his seat to the right of the press box.”

Knollsy’s efforts were also recognised outside the stadium, as fans chanted, “Knollsy is massive everywhere we go”.

“Knollsy outside the London stadium getting hero status,” one tweet read.

Since the violence that was witnessed at the Dutch side’s stadium, AZ Alkmaar apologised in a statement.

It read: “While everyone hoped for a historic European match, it turned into a pitch-black evening due to the events occurring at the referee’s final whistle. It turned into a night to reflect on with shame.

“Not because of the football game played, but because of the behaviour of some attending. Unfortunately, we cannot use the word ‘supporters’ for these people.

“What happened is beyond all bounds. The club again sincerely apologises to West Ham and the thousands of well-minded AZ supporters who have also been inconvenienced by the misconduct.

“In the coming period AZ will – together with the police, Public Prosecution Service, and Alkmaar’s municipality – evaluate exactly what happened, how it could have happened and what needs to be improved from now on. It is clear that things need to be improved.

“Part of the evaluation is a thorough review of all available footage so that appropriate consequences may follow for those responsible for this outrageous behaviour.

“AZ is a civilised club where sportsmanship and norms and values are paramount. The club will do everything possible, together with the authorities involved, to identify these persons and to take appropriate measures.”

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