Former Aston Villa and Trinidad and Tobago fullback Jlloyd Samuel has died at the age of 37. The retired player was killed in a car accident. The Trinidad and Tobago Soccer Association said in a statement on Twitter, “We’ve received some terrible news that former National defender and Ex-Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers player Jlloyd Samuel died in a car crash this morning in England. The TTFA and all his former teammates extends deepest condolences to his family in this most difficult time.” A further statement on the association’s Facebook page says that Samuel was returning home after bringing his kids to school when he crashed into an oncoming vehicle. The crash occurred in England.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Samuel Had Not Yet Retired From the Game
According Samuel’s Twitter page, he was not retired from the game and referred to himself as a free agent. Although that page hadn’t been updated since April 2017. Samuel is best known for his time playing for Aston Villa between 1998 and 2007 in the English Premier League where he made 169 appearances. Samuel also spent time with Bolton Wanderers and Cardiff City. He last played for Egerton F.C. in 2017 where he was also the manager.
While there, Samuel recruited former Premier League striker Nathan Ellington to play for the team while former Birmingham City midfielder Robbie Savage was also a coach. Samuel told the BBC at the time, “When you finish football you pile on the pounds, I wasn’t one for doing that. I don’t need to go searching for the last pay day… It is more of a fun thing and I prefer the business side of things, but I enjoy it. I get to train daily and play at weekends.”
2. Samuel Played for the England Youth Teams But Ultimately Represented Trinidad & Tobago
Despite playing for the England under-18, 20 and 21 teams, Samuel represented the land of his birth, Trinidad and Tobago, playing twice in 2009. In 2004, Samuel had been called up by the English national team for a friendly against Sweden but ultimately didn’t participate in the game.
3. His Death Occurred Hours Before Aston Villa Face One of Their Biggest Games in Years
His death came just hours before his former team faced one of their biggest games in years. Aston Villa player Middlesbrough in the second leg of the Championship playoffs in Villa Park. Villa leads 1-0 from the first game. Coach Steve Bruce had told the BBC on the eve of the game, “We’ve given ourselves a chance, we’ve given ourselves a small advantage, but we’ve been around long enough to know that we can’t get carried away with it, that’s for sure. We’re at Villa Park, I’m sure it’ll be rocking, it should be a wonderful atmosphere. We’ve got an advantage, the crowd can hopefully play their part, but it’s a big tie still ahead.”
4. His Death Has Resulted in an Outpouring of Emotion on Twitter
Samuel’s tragic death has resulted in an outpouring of emotion from some of soccer’s biggest names on Twitter. Here are some of the most poignant tributes:
5. Samuel’s Home Was the Subject of Controversy in 2010
In August 2010, the Liverpool Echo reported that a woman told police that she had been raped during a party at Samuel’s home in Lymm, Warrington. The suspect, who was not a soccer player, was later released by police after questioning. Less than six months later, Samuel put his home on the market for a little over $3 million.