A West Ham United fan has become an internet sensation after a video of him defending the players’ families during the Europa League match against AZ Alkmaar went viral.
The incident occurred following West Ham’s 1-0 away win that secured their spot in the tournament’s final.
Approximately 100 AZ Alkmaar ultras were left furious by the jubilant celebrations of the West Ham fans after Pablo Fornals scored the decisive goal at the AFAS Stadium.
Amidst the chaos, several West Ham stars quickly rushed over to protect their loved ones from the advancing ultras.
However, one brave supporter emerged as the true hero in this tense situation. Chris Knolls, a die-hard West Ham fan, stood resolutely between the 100 hooligans and the section where the players’ families were seated, single-handedly fending off their assault.
Knolls displayed incredible courage as he fearlessly defended the vulnerable section, putting his own safety at risk. Despite his valiant efforts, he suffered a badly bruised left eye during the encounter. However, his actions did not go unnoticed.
The video capturing Knolls’ heroic act quickly spread across social media platforms.
Two West Ham v around a hundred balaclava’d cowards.
Well done Knollsy. Protecting the players families ????
— ????? ????? ????? ??? (@Chris_Mills_) May 19, 2023
One fan took to Twitter to share how Knolls had battled illness two years ago and received a supportive message from West Ham star Declan Rice, which played a significant role in his recovery.
In 2021, when Knollsy was in a bad shape, @_DeclanRice left him this message. He always says it’s what made him recover. The man is West Ham through and through and would have done anything to protect our fans tonight. pic.twitter.com/wjP1kBrGmv
— freddie bonfanti (@freddiebonfa) May 19, 2023
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