‘Knollsy’ West Ham fan says AZ Alkmaar ultras’ black eye is the result of a punch
West Ham supporter ‘Knollsy’ gave talkSPORT insight into his brutal battle with a host of AZ Alkmaar ultras.
The fan – whose real name is Chris Knoll – was seen fending off hooligans who attacked some of the traveling support.
Some of these included families of West Ham players, with images of “Knollsy” making headlines afterwards.
“I was fine and then it was just a number crunch,” he told Jim White on talkSPORT.
“If you look at the pictures, there are pictures of me and other guys and we’re just mobbed.
“I think there’s a photo that they made a canvas of, and in this particular case I think you can count about 12 guys, they’re literally all around me.
“Eventually only the numbers took over and one of the guys managed to get behind me, as I kind of try to push the people back up the stairs in front of me, this guy just hits me on the side of the head, that’s where the black eye really comes from.”
Fans serenaded the so-called ‘Angel of Alkmaar’ in the days following their crucial victory, with his black eye prominently displayed.
A unique figurine of the 58-year-old was even made and sold for £6,000 after 58 auctions on eBay.
He also received tickets to the Europa Conference League final next month as a reward for his heroism.
‘Knollsy’ will be one of the lucky few to attend the clash against Fiorentina in Prague, with the two clubs being awarded just under 5,000 tickets each at the Eden Arena.
The showcase will be West Ham’s first European final in 47 years, having reached the Europa League semi-finals last season.
Victory would cap off what has been quite a disappointing season for the east London side and claim the third European crown in their history.