West Ham’s ‘Angel of Alkmaar’ Knollsy is given a ticket for Europa Conference League final
EXCLUSIVE: Knollsy’s going to Prague! West Ham’s ‘Angel of Alkmaar’ is given a ticket for Europa Conference League final after club officials hailed his ‘courage’ in fighting off Dutch thugs
The West Ham fan Chis Knoll, better known as ‘Knollsy,’ who fought off dozens of hooded football thugs, has been rewarded with a coveted ticket for his club’s first European final in 47 years.
The father-of-four, dubbed the ‘Angel of Alkmaar’, said he was nearly reduced to tears when he heard the news, which followed a request by Mail Online to West Ham United.
‘I am at work and when I got the call today, I nearly cried. I am, so pleased, so happy. I am made up.’
Knollsy, 58, who has become a folk hero on the terraces of the London Stadium among West Hams faithful following, was desperately seeking a ticket like many other thousands of anxious supporters.
He said a club official who he had met during West Ham’s match with AK Alkmaar in Holland last Thursday, called him personally.
West Ham fan Chris Knoll, 58, held off AZ Alkmaar ultras as they attempted to flood into the family stand to attack English supporters after their Europa Conference League semi-final win
The father-of-four received a black eye for his trouble as he defended players’ families
Knollsy is seen after the confrontation still smiling and in fine fettle despite his torn shirt
‘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.’
There had been an internet clamour for the club to thank him for his bravery and Mail Online had also contacted West Ham reporting the support the campaign had been receiving to get him to Prague for the June 7 Europa Conference League Final with Fiorentina.
He received a standing ovation at West Ham on Sunday at the match with Leeds United at the London Stadium and supporters sang his name.
Yesterday he told Mail Online that he was ‘gutted’ that he had not heard from West Ham, but he was overwhelmed by the adulation from fellow supporters.
‘What a reception, a standing ovation, my own song and I never bought a single beer.
‘It took me the best part of a hour to walk half way around the stadium at the end of the game on Sunday.
West Ham are set to face Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final in Prague on June 7
The game will be played at Slavia Prague’s stadium, which has a capacity of just over 20,000
West Ham fan Knollsy appeared emotional as supporters chanted his name outside the Carpenters Arms pub after heroically fighting off Dutch ultras last week
He was given a standing ovation for helping to protect the families of the club’s players after Thursday’s match against AZ Alkmaar
‘I was made to feel like the people’s champion. I noticed the amount of women thanking me for looking after their families.
‘I’m on the crest of a wave at the moment’.
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.
But his joy came as fellow supporters received a boost as it was revealed West Ham’s ticket allocation had been boosted.