Blackpool pub’s sea of red for footy final

Steve McGowan and Billy Rooney at the Frenchmans Cove which has been decorated for the UEFA Cup Final
Steve McGowan and Billy Rooney at the Frenchmans Cove which has been decorated for the UEFA Cup Final
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A football-crazy landlord has decked out his Blackpool pub in the colours of his favourite team in celebration to mark this weekend’s Champions League final.

Frenchman’s Cove owner Billy Johnson, 69, is a lifelong Liverpool fan, despite being born and raised in Blackpool.

He plans to give away free shots and raffle tickets on Saturday for the Reds’ final against Tottenham - but only for people who are willing to show their loyalty to his team by wearing the classic red of the Anfield outfit.

Billy, who also owns the Crazy Horse Saloon on Queen Street, Shenanigans on the Prom and Lane Ends on Hawes Side Lane, said: “I wasn’t expecting them to make the final actually, but when they got to the quarter final you think they are lucky to get this far and you can see their names on the cup.

“Any fan that turns out on the night in a red shirt gets a free shot. Last time they played in the final we gave away free scouse.

“We’re known as a Liverpool pub. People sing Liverpool songs, and we encourage that. It’s a very friendly atmosphere. I couldn’t get a ticket to the final, so I have built my own for my friends.

“We show all the football games but when Liverpool play we normally put banners in the windows, but with this being a big one we have decorated the pub with a 30ft banner.

“We have had a few quips off the United fans saying we’re wasting our money, but there’s no animosity.”

Doors will open at the pub, on King Street, at 6pm on Saturday before the big game in Madrid. Billy said: “If we win, we’ll probably still be there on Monday!”