Loyal Kitchee Servant Always Remembers What Father

For modern day Barcelona supporters, a glance at the famous number eight shirt of the Catalan giant might lead to images of talented midfielder Iniesta. Yet for Kitchee’s very own Jorge Tarres, the famous red and blue stripes number eight shirt will always have a very special meaning to him and his family, simply because that was the very same number that his father wore when he played for the La Liga powerhouse back in the late seventies. Isidoro Tarres, a tireless worker on the pitch, had spent six seasons patrolling the midfields for various La Liga teams, with a season-and-a-half in Barcelona colours. “Despite our similar physical built, my father and I were vastly different types of player. He was very good at endurance and can run all day long, as if he has three lungs! Back in his playing days, he once came across Johan Cruyff on the pitch, told me that he was man-marking the Dutchman throughout the game and was enjoying the upper-hand. Then one moment when he did not keep an eye on Cruyff, the immensely gifted Dutchman was gone and went on to whip in a cross for his team!” Young Tarres, affectionately known as “Jordi” to the passionate Kitchee supporters, went on to reveal his father’s influence on his own football career. “My father never pushed me to follow his footsteps but instead, he simply reminded me to keep enjoying what I do just like any five year-old would,” Jordi explained. “Like a lot of young players, I used to enjoy a good party but my father always reminded me that there is a right place and a right time for everything in life. Your friends might invite you to go out but if you want to succeed in professional football, you need to make some unbelievable sacrifices, look after your body, watch your diet and rest well. If you do all these, you can definitely play for a very long time. These are all valuable advices from him that I remember up to this day.” It is never easy to follow the footsteps of a successful football-playing father and Jordi admits to coming across some obstacles when he was a youngster. “When I was growing up, people saw my name and would always ask me if I am the son of Isidoro Tarres. That was a bit tough at times because I felt people were putting me under the microscope and had higher expectations on me than the other children. It was tough at first but I became more okay about it with time. I am certainly very happy and proud of the last name,” the veteran goal-poacher commented. After spending six years in Kitchee colours, Jordi’s family have all become firm Kitchee supporters and the veteran scorer had a chuckle when talking about it. “My sister likes to wear the Kitchee jersey with my name and head out to various dinner gatherings or party,” Jordi confessed with a smile. “My father is a bit more conservative when it comes to his clothing selection but he does follow my Kitchee career with keen interest and will watch my games through the internet in early mornings or in the afternoons,” revealed Jordi. “He regularly congratulates me on my performance and tells me that I have made a right choice by coming over to Hong Kong. He knew it was quite an accomplishment to win all these trophies with Kitchee and told me that I should be proud of what I have achieved so far.” Having gone through numerous ups-and-downs with Kitchee all these years, the fan-favourite has developed an undeniable love-affair with the club and is proud to see its growth through the years. “Kitchee has definitely come a long way since my arrival,” Jordi ponders. “Having a quality training centre like we do is the foundation for any ambitious professional football club. I might not be playing for Kitchee ten years down the road but I am very happy and honoured to be part of this club’s history. More quality players will come and join the club and more talented youngsters will emerge from the youth system but at the end of the day, I belong to Kitchee.”