Espanyol pay tribute to late captain Jarque
Espanyol fans paid tribute to the club's former captain Dani Jarque at the Cornella stadium on Sunday.
Jarque died on August 8 last year following a heart attack during his team's pre-season preparations in Coverciano, near Florence.
To mark the first anniversary of his death, Espanyol decided to open gate 21 at the stadium between 11am and 1pm for fans to pay tribute. Jarque was Espanyol's number 21 and fans had gathered at that part of the ground last year to mourn the player's death.
Hundreds of fans paid their respects again this time around. Signed shirts from friends within the game, messages from fans and scarves from Espanyol and a range of other clubs were laid out in a shrine to the defender, alongside candles and a series of photographs from Jarque's time at the club.
Alongside that display, a television screen was mounted to show images from last year's tribute and a collection of the player's best moments in the blue and white of Espanyol.
Moments before the gates were opened to the public, club captain Ivan de la Pena and team-mates Victor Ruiz and Raul Baena, on behalf of the whole squad, placed a wreath alongside the display.
Many of Jarque's former team-mates also wrote open letters to him which were posted on the club's official website.
In his, forward Ferran Corominas said Jarque would never be forgotten. "I want you to know that I miss you and that you will always be in my heart," he said. "I'm left with a little piece of him in (his daughter) Martina and I will be watching her grow up."
Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino admitted he thinks about Jarque every day. "I remember him in every game, every time I see an Espanyol shirt and every time I get up in the morning," he said.
De la Pena added: "Dani's loss won't last just a year. For us, it will mark the rest of our lives."
Espanyol will wear commemorative shirts to mark the anniversary of Jarque's death in their match against Atletico Madrid on Sunday night, in the final of the Ramon Carranza trophy in Cadiz.