The West Ham fan that helped fight off dozens of hooded AZ Alkmaar ultras has been rewarded for his bravery by the club.
Hammers supporter Chris Knoll, also knows as “Knollsy”, stood atop a staircase in the Netherlands last week to defend West Ham fans and players’ families after several members of the home end broke through a security fence and tried to attack.
The 58-year-old was lauded on social media and by West Ham players for his efforts, though, according to Mail Online, hadn’t heard from the club – until Tuesday.
A club official who Knollsy had met at the game last week called him to reward him with complementary tickets for the Conference League final, which West Ham reached after beating Alkmaar.
The official got in contact because she wanted to give thanks to the father of four for helping protect the supporters in the chaos, which saw several West Ham players including Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma dive into the crowd to assist.
“I am at work and when I got the call today, I nearly cried,” Knollsy said. “I am, so pleased, so happy. I am made up.
“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.”
It is indeed hard to get a ticket for the final, with Prague’s Fortuna Arena holding only 19,000 supporters, with the two clubs competing, West Ham and Fiorentina, given only 5,000 tickets each for supporters.
Knollsy now no longer has to worry about picking up a ticket for the historic event, though – he’ll be there and it’s all thanks to his bravery a week ago.