West Ham fan ‘Knollsy’ faces knighthood calls for saving families from AZ ultras

Football fans from around the world have tipped West Ham supporter ‘Knollsy’ for a knighthood after he single-handedly fought off blood-hungry AZ Alkmaar fanatics. The hooded supporters of the Dutch side were looking to strike fear into the relatives of the West Ham players after trampling down a huge gate inside the stadium and sprinting towards the segregated stand positioned behind the dugouts.

Yet despite their desire to cause violence, ‘Knollsy’ had other ideas as video footage captured the man-mountain battling off Alkmaar’s ultras.

The big man was forced to throw a series of punches to defend the stand but his presence prevented the ultras from gaining access to the families of the West Ham players where all hell could have broken loose.

Twitter user @freddiebonfa tweeted: “Knollsy the legend. Stopped the home fans from getting to the players’ families. Give him a ticket for the final.”

One Dutch fan wants to see ‘Knollsy’ knighted as he feels it would be a fair reward for his efforts. He wrote: “These people aren’t fans. On behalf of many Dutch football fans, sincere apologies. Knollsy and his bud that defended the other stairway should be knighted.”

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@FrankWrong1 added: “AZ Ultra’s? That’s a laugh! They’re a bunch of lowlife, rural mongrels that should have been aborted at birth. Knollsy should be knighted! Absolute hero!!”

@JIronopolis continued: “Knollsy and his mate should be knighted. Old school decency. AZ should be kicked out of Europe.”

@JeffStump3 also posted: “A Knighthood, for services to the Empire. Sir Knollsy has a nice ring to it.”

Meanwhile, @freddiebonfa provided some extra context from inside the ground to offer further background on exactly what happened.

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They wrote: “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.”

‘Knollsy’ is better known as Chris Knoll, a diehard West Ham supporter and father of four.

He is a well respected figure within the West Ham community and once received a video message from Declan Rice – that has since resurfaced online – when he was unwell in 2021.

Rice said in the clip: “I just want to send you the best of wishes from me and everyone at West Ham and we’re all fighting for you mate.”

Thankfully, the ugly scenes that marred a famous night for West Ham in Holland on Thursday night did not spoil the celebrations as the Hammers booked their ticket to Prague.

UEFA have since confirmed they will be opening disciplinary action against AZ Alkmaar following the shocking conduct of their ultras.

Supporters from both teams clashed prior to the match in the streets surrounding the ground as tensions threatened to boil over.

AZ have strongly condemned the actions of their supporters and some of their fans inside the ground began to boo and shout as their ultras launched the shocking attack.

West Ham players Flynn Downes, Michail Antonio, Lucas Paqueta and Aaron Cresswell were among those that tried to intervene to stop the violence.

Downes was even forced to throw punches – as per video footage – of his own as he attempted to defend his family.

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