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West Ham fan 'Knollsy' who fought off AZ Alkmaar ultras given standing ovation against Leeds

Joe Adams

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West Ham fan 'Knollsy' who fought off AZ Alkmaar ultras given standing ovation against Leeds

The West Ham fan, nicknamed 'Knollsy' was given a standing ovation upon arriving at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Die-hard Hammers supporter Chris Knoll fought off AZ Alkmaar ultras following West Ham's Europa Conference League win over the Dutch club on Thursday.

Opposition fans attempted to gain access to where the players' families were sitting, causing a mass brawl among players and fans.

The famous Knollsy was at the heart of the action, doing his utmost to protect the families, picking up a nasty looking black eye in the process.

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But in a heartwarming moment, he was given a standing ovation by supporters on his return to the ground.

And to add to the special occasion, he was treated to an impressive performance by his beloved Hammers, who beat Leeds 3-1 to plunge Sam Allardyce's side into troubled waters, as the Peacocks' relegation fears grow.

West Ham fans applauded Chris Knoll at the London Stadium. Credit: Twitter @thomasjrennie
West Ham fans applauded Chris Knoll at the London Stadium. Credit: Twitter @thomasjrennie
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West Ham got off to a poor start, with Rodrigo lashing home a fierce volley from a long-throw in.

But captain Declan Rice got them back on level terms before Jarred Bowen poked the ball past Joel Robles.

Manuel Lanzini completed the act, smashing the ball home after a mazy run from Lucas Paqueta.

Explaining the incident with AZ Alkmaar hooligans, Knollsy told the Daily Mail: "I’m not a hero. I just did what I had to do. There was another guy who was fending them off."

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"I don’t like bullies and just had to try and stop them. I just thought the best form of defence was to attack. You could see they were intent on causing trouble and I did not want them to get to those behind us."

Describing how exactly how it all unfolded, he added: "I saw them [Alkmaar fans] 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.

"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.

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"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.

"If you’ve seen the pictures, there’s about five or six guys in front of me and I’m sort of trying to fend them off.

"Somehow, I don’t know how, two got behind me, right. And as I’m dealing with the other guys, there’s one guy who’s just constantly bagging me in the side of the head.

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"That’s what caused the bruised eye. It’s not too bad, but I might go to the hospital to get it checked out."

Featured Image Credit: @westhamnetwork/Twitter and @thomasjrennie/Twitter

Topics: West Ham United, Leeds United, Premier League, Football

Joe Adams
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