Showcased behind the bar at Flannery’s is a gold-hued soccer boot. But it’s not just any shoe — it’s the game boot worn and signed by Tottenham Hotspur star striker Harry Kane.
It might be a lucky talisman Saturday, when the Spurs, from North London, face off against their English Premier League rivals Liverpool in the Champion’s League final — the Holy Grail of European soccer.
“It’s like getting to the Super Bowl in Europe,” says Mark Koblentz, acting president of NY Spurs, Tottenham’s official supporters club, which has called the 14th Street bar home since 2011.
Rabid supporters of both teams will flock to bars for the 3 p.m. match televised from Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano. Good luck getting through the door at Flannery’s, where upward of 200 fans fill the place for weekend games. The 50-something Koblentz, who runs a family printing business, says that when the Spurs beat AJAX last month to advance to the finals, “we could feel the floor shaking.”
Supporters clubs are very territorial. Spurs fans congregate at Flannery’s, Banter Bar in Williamsburg, Mulligan’s Pub in Hoboken and Fiddlesticks in the West Village. Liverpool followers flock to 11th Street Bar in the East Village and Carragher’s Pub on West 39th Street.
While Liverpool has long been a powerhouse, the Spurs have only recently become contenders. Its NYC supporters club, which started in the early aughts, is about 400 strong. Among the team’s celebrity fans are Steve Nash, ex-Met Daniel Murphy, Jude Law, J.K. Rowling and foodie Adam Richman, who occasionally stops into Flannery’s. And visitors from London have popped in to watch games there, including Charlie Kane, Harry’s brother.
“People buy him drinks and pose with him,” Koblentz says, with a laugh.
Longtime Spurs supporter Danny Knobler, a veteran baseball writer who lives in Queens, has high hopes for Tottenham on Saturday.
“It goes along the lines of Red Sox fans or Cubs fans before they won the World Series,” he says. “I hope they win just once in my lifetime.”