West Ham icon Chris ‘Knollsy’ Knoll was treated to a rendition of his own chant as well as a standing ovation on his London Stadium return.
The 58-year-old dad of four was one of a handful of Hammers supporters who defended the family section against rampaging AZ Alkmaar hooligans after their Europa Conference League semi-final second leg.
Having created his own Twitter profile while getting the tube to their Premier League fixture against Leeds, fans instantly recognised Knollsy as he sported a huge black eye.
As he walked up the stand to take his seat before kick-off, fans sung: “We love you Knollsy, we do.”
One fan tweeted: “Turns out Knollsy sits behind me, he just took his seat and the whole stand applauded him.”
A second added: “Knollsy has just received a standing ovation on his way to his seat to the right of the press box.”
Standing ovation on arrival for Knollsy.#WHUFC pic.twitter.com/Q25ZDscsZ1
— Tom Rennie (@thomasjrennie) May 21, 2023
A third posted: “West Ham supporters in the upper tier of the west end applaud Knollsy as he takes his seat..”
Knollsy looked humbled as he settled in to watch the fixtures, having insisted after returning from the Netherlands that he wasn’t a hero.
Speaking in a Daily Mail interview shared by WestHamXtra, Knollsy said: “We realised that the AZ Alkmaar ultras were intent on trouble (and) we could see them coming down the side of the pitch.
“Quite a lot of them, they looked like little ants running towards us. All in their black hoodies and things like that.”
He added that he would love to be invited to Prague to watch the final of the tournament against Fiorentina on June 7, saying it would almost make the trouble worthwhile.
Unfortunately for West Ham fans, the club has only been allocated 4,890 for the final in the 19,370 capacity Fortuna Arena.