Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Family Affair: Tann/Jarvis

9 May 2013

Most families would settle for just one member of their clan embarking on a professional sporting career, but one particularly talented family from Norfolk currently boast three players involved in the football pyramid. And, believe it or not, all three have plenty of clubs in common, too.

Brothers Ryan and Rossi Jarvis both started out at Norwich City, before going down separate routes in their respective careers.

Striker Ryan represented England at all junior levels and had loan spells with Colchester United, Leyton Orient, Kilmarnock and Notts County, before signing a permanent deal with Orient, where he teamed up with his cousin, Adam Tann.

After leaving the O's, the front man appeared for Walsall before signing for current club Torquay United, who his brother Rossi, a defensive midfielder, played for during a loan spell from Norwich in 2007.

Rossi parted ways with the Canaries in 2008 and moved to Luton Town then on to Barnet, before signing a deal with Cambridge United, who he parted ways with after the conclusion of the current season.

And Cambridge is the club where the third member of the party comes into play, Jarvis' cousin Adam, who began his career with the U's in 1999. He made over 100 appearances for the club before appearing in The Football League for Notts County and Orient, both alongside cousin Ryan, as well as Histon, Chelmsford City and Bury Town in non-league.

"It's mad when you think about it; we're just a family from a small town in Norfolk. For us to have made it when there aren't many clubs around us is a great achievement," said 30-year-old Tann.

"Ryan and Rossi are cousins on my mum's side and they both started out at Norwich, where they were given professional contracts. Ryan was even fortunate enough to score against Liverpool in the Premier League, which was a fantastic achievement for him.

"He's gone on to represent a number of clubs and our paths have crossed along the way. It is a pleasure to play alongside your cousin. There have been a few instances of brothers playing together at clubs here and there, but it's still pretty rare for family members to play in the same team."

With all three family members being heavily involved at their respective clubs this year, and in years gone by, the trio struggle to find time to meet up and share their thoughts.

But, with the season now at an end for the three players, they've had a chance to catch up and discuss the highs and lows of the last nine months.

"Only the other day, Rossi, Ryan, me and another cousin of ours - Danny [who didn't play professionally] - met up for the first time in over a year.

"We try and meet once a year but it's getting harder because we're all getting married or having kids, and have football of course. It's always great to catch up, though, and share notes of our respective seasons.

"It's hard to watch each other. Even playing non-league football you're still playing Saturday-Tuesday. It's even harder to watch Ryan because he's been down in Torquay, which is miles away. We talk a lot though.

"It's handy having family members who understand what it takes to play football emotionally and physically. It is very unique job and we all understand what the others are going through. We talk when we can and we always try and watch when we can. I certainly look out for their results."

While Adam ended his season with Bury Town in the Ryman Premier Division, narrowly missing out on a Play-Off place, Ryan experienced a nail-biting finish with Torquay at the foot of npower League 2.

Rossi, on the other hand, had a low-key conclusion to the season with Cambridge, who finished mid-table in the Blue Square Premier.

And the recent denouement has reminded Tann of some of his career highlights - most notably a promotion, then survival, at Leyton Orient.

"Obviously you never want to be involved at the bottom of the table, but to survive a relegation is fantastic. When I was at Orient a season of promotion was followed by a near-miss at the other end. I think I even scored the season we just stayed up, so it was two very incredible experiences and feelings for very different reasons. Those days are why you play the game.

"I started at Cambridge United and unfortunately went through two relegations, which isn't great when you're at the start of your career. The drop from npower League 1 to League 2 is understandable because we were bottom for a long time and competing against bigger clubs. The big blow was getting relegated out of the Football League. That was a real low.

"Orient was possibly the best part of my career in League football. I loved my time there and I felt on the crest of a wave. I'm proud to have contributed to their promotion. I was injured for much of the season so wasn't able to play throughout the whole campaign, but the last day of the season will always live long in the memory.

"I had the option to stay at Orient but returned to Notts County, which is perhaps something I'd change if I had my time again. I felt it was time to move on. That move was okay, but I was later released, the first time I'd been let go in my career. I thought I'd get another League club and it just wasn't to be.

"I've been out of the League for four years, which is longer than I would have liked and I just want to play at the highest possible level. You never know. It gets harder and harder [to get back into The Football League] but I'll certainly never shut the door on the option."

Who knows, if Adam and Rossi can engineer moves back into The Football League, the trio's paths may cross once more.

They're both currently out of contract, so are on the hunt for clubs. Never say never.

Advertisement block