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Darius Vassell pays emotional tribute to former Aston Villa team-mate and close friend Jlloyd Samuel

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Darius Vassell paid an emotional tribute to Jlloyd Samuel, declaring his former Villa team-mate and close friend will be “forever missed”.

Friends: Darius Vassell and Jlloyd Samuel

Striker Vassell and defender Samuel, who tragically died in a car accident earlier this week at the age of just 37, both came through the ranks at Villa.

They remained close after their careers went separate ways and Samuel’s untimely death has left Vassell heartbroken.

Speaking to Villa's official website about Samuel, Vassel said: “Jlloyd showed me what our world has to offer us – he will forever be missed.

“He was my brother on and off the pitch. He encouraged me to believe in myself as a player and person and always checked up on me to make sure I was OK. Spending time with his family and friends in tribute to his life and achievements in the short space of time he was with us, will forever be an honour. I’ve never met someone who could smile their way through adversity like Jlloyd.

“He always found a way to stand tall and provide support for those he loved and cherished whilst enjoying the finer things in life like family, music, art, travel and the general freedom to express his warm personality. Wherever he went he made an impact. He did not deserve this, it’s still impossible for me to fathom."

Samuel, a father of three, died on Tuesday in an accident, shortly after dropping his children off at school in Lymm, Cheshire.

Villa held a minute's applause before Tuesday's play-off semi-final second leg with Middlesbrough, with players wearing black armbands.

Vassell continued: “I was there when he met and fell in love with his partner and I was a privileged guest at their private wedding ceremony. Since then I’ve witnessed her become an amazing mother and devoted wife.

"She has supported Jay with his health and fitness, directly assisted with his business ventures and made their house a warm and welcoming home for the family to thrive and guests to enjoy. She doesn’t deserve to suffer such heartbreak.

“Jlloyd showed me that he was much more than a footballer and through him I have met so many special people and gained so much knowledge of what our world has to offer us. My deepest condolences go out to his wife and family especially his four beautiful children. Jlloyd Samuel - you will forever be missed.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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