West Ham fan 'Knollsy' who bravely fought off thugs has been gifted a ticket to their European final
| Last updated
A West Ham fan who bravely fought off Dutch football hooligans has been gifted a ticket to their Europa Conference League final next month in Prague.
The Hammers enthusiast in question, Chris 'Knollsy' Knoll, single-handedly refused to let Dutch ultras into the seating area were players' families were seated during West Ham's match with AK Alkmaar in Holland last Thursday (18 May).
Knollsy has since been handed a highly-coveted reward for his courageous act and is set to finally attend his club's first European final in 47 years.
Knollsyy, who has since been dubbed the 'Angel of Alkmaar', said he was overcome with emotion when he caught light of the exciting news.
The father-of-four, 58, revealed: "'I am at work and when I got the call today, I nearly cried. I am, so pleased, so happy. I am made up."
The super-fan disclosed he had been personally contacted by a club official who he had met during Thursday's match.
"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," Knollsy added.
He continued: "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."
Before being gifted the tickets, however, Knollsy received a heartwarming standing ovation over the weekend (21 May) during Sunday's match with Leeds United at the London Stadium.
Supporters sang out his name, chanting: "Knollsy is massive," leaving the bloke totally blown away by the love from his fellow supporters.
Speaking of the moment he said: "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."
Knollsy added: "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."
Knollsy has also taken to Twitter to share an official statement on the matter.
A few words from the real knollsy⚒— Knollsy (@Knollsyofficial) May 22, 2023
‘Fans are the beating heart of football, keep them safe’
Thank you everyone for your support.
‘One thing unites us all- Our love for the beautiful game and the clubs we call our family’
Please read & SHARE. pic.twitter.com/jezeH834sC
While he declared that 'the measures for safety and the response to the situation were just not good enough' he also offered a heartfelt tribute to his fellow fans.
He penned: "Fans are the beating heart of football, keep them safe.
"One thing unites us all - our love for the beautiful game and the clubs we call our family."
Seems like Knollsy will continue to be forever blowing bubbles in Prague for the Europa Conference League Final with Fiorentina set to kick-off next month (7 June).