BIG INTERVIEW: Charnock Richard goal machine Jordan Darr’s not just one of a kind!
Two peas in a pod; mirror image; two of a kind; double act – there have been a few terms attributed to Leyland lads and identical twins Jordan and Ethan Darr.
The pair look the same, act the same, even sound the same as Jordan succinctly said to me during our interview, ‘If I secretly passed the phone over to my brother, you wouldn’t be able to tell!’
The brothers are virtually alike in every sense – apart, that is, from when they walk on to a football pitch.
Former Chorley, Bamber Bridge, Clitheroe and current Charnock Richard star Jordan is a goalscorer – while his identical sibling can only be described as a goal stopper.
In fact, if the two ever came up against each other on the pitch then it’s highly likely that they would be in direct competition.
Ethan is making a name for himself as a central defender for Euxton Villa, who are currently riding high in second spot in the West Lancashire League Premier Division, while Jordan is currently enjoying an incredible season for Charnock in the North West Counties’ Premier Division.
Christmas is still three weeks away but the Villagers’ hotshot has already notched a remarkable 27 goals from 28 appearances in league and cup.
The 22-year-old is blazing a trail at the top of the league’s goalscoring charts and who knows what his final tally will be?
It seems no defender has managed to tame the former Balshaw’s CE High School pupil – and it is likely not even the person who knows him the best – his twin brother – would be able to stop him.
“I think I would score a few if I played against my brother,” said Jordan Darr, who also has an older brother called Adam – he plays football for Horwich RMI – and a sister Natasha.
“I think he would probably disagree.
“He’s a great player. He plays for Euxton who have had a rivalry with Charnock when they both played in the West Lancs League.
“I have tried to persuade him in the past to come and play with me, maybe he will do later on.
“But growing up we always played for the same teams essentially. There was a time when we were both at Chorley, playing for their Under-18s.
“One game I was actually coming on as a substitute to replace him.
“The referee actually stopped the game after I had come on because it had confused him and he thought that our manager had made an illegitimate substitution.
“We have had a good laugh with it down the years.
“But we are very similar in every way really.
“With him being a centre half, he’s a bit bulkier than me but apart from that we are pretty much the same person.”
While Ethan Darr will be preparing for Villa’s home game against top-of-the-table Thornton Cleveleys this afternoon, Jordan will be heading to former club Northwich Victoria for a league game.
The two clubs are vying for a play-off position in the NWCL Premier Division and the game carries extra spice as it will be the first time Charnock have come up against their former striker, the prolific Carl Grimshaw.
Full-time farmer ‘Grimmy’ is a Charnock Richard legend, having scored a staggering 474 goals from 432 appearances across at 12-year span.
However, he shocked the local non-league scene when he decided to bring the curtain down on his time at Mossie Park in September when he opted to make the move to Northwich.
Now heading towards veteran status, Grimshaw perhaps felt that it was time to move on, especially as the much younger Darr was starting to make a major impact for the club.
Darr – who played alongside Grimshaw for a period – admits it will feel a little strange to see the former Charnock cult hero lining up against them this afternoon.
He takes it as a compliment that he has been entrusted to plug the gap left by Grimshaw, although admits they are big boots to fill.
“I suppose you could say I have taken over the mantle from Carl in terms of goals,” said Darr, who has notched 48 goals in total for Charnock from 58 games.
“But I will have to be hitting these sort of numbers for the next 10 years to even get close to Carl’s record.
“Carl is an icon of the club and always will be.
“I have learned a lot off Carl and I did tell him that when he decided to move on.
“It’s a tough pair of boots to fill, trying to emulate what Grimmy did for the club. The interesting thing with him is that I think anybody whose played against him will say that one minute he’s just there and then within a blink of an eye, he’s scored a hat-trick.
“He just has that knack for scoring, that instinct and I don’t think you can really teach that.
“The one thing I think I have learned from him is that he is ice cold in front of goal. I think one of our players Ash Young has said that Grimmy could miss nine chances in a game but if there is chance in the last minute of the game, you would want it falling to him.
“I think that is what I have learned, to just focus on the next chance which comes your way and don’t dwell on chances that I may have missed previously.
“That is something which I have been guilty of in the past.”
Having had a slightly nomadic career so far, Darr – who has also played for Skelmersdale United and Atherton Collieries – finally seems to have found his true home at Mossie Park.
Having been in the West Lancashire League for so many years, winning the league title on seven occasions, the club has adapted well to life at the higher level.
The club earned promotion to the Premier Division in its first full season in the North West Counties in 2016. And Darr sees no reason why they cannot aim higher and look to rise even further up the football pyramid.
“It’s been a great rise for the club,” said Darr, who has formed a fine partnership with ex-Longridge, Brig and Lancaster forward Brad Carsley this season.
“You look at the committee, the staff, the fans – they do deserve success.
“I have said this a few times but the set-up at Charnock is different class. I absolutely love it.
“If you look at our squad and the players we have brought in, we are definitely good enough.
“If you look at our league this year, I don’t think there has ever been a more competitive Counties division with clubs such as Macclesfield and Skem in there.
“It would be great for us to go up but there is a long way to go and we just need to keep on improving.
“I think if we can tighten up at the back, there is always a chance.”