When Darius Vassell signed for Ankaragucu in July 2009, big things were expected of the England International. Vassell had spent his career in the English Premiership with Aston Villa and Manchester City. Although not the best finisher, the little striker made up for it in effort, speed and skill. He was also known for his character, once drilling through is doe with an electric drill to try and help release the pressure on his toe nail.
3000 Ankaragucu fans greeted Vassell at Esenboga Airport Video, you could be forgiven for thinking that Ankaragucu had just completed the signing of Lionel Messi. In an interview later on Vassell told of how he was blown away by the welcome and it helped him make his decision to sign for Ankaragucu. The club were playing in their centenary year and wanted to give the fans some big names and challenge for Europe. All started well when on his second game Vassell came on as a sub against Manisaspor and scored the equalising goal to give Ankaragucu a point.
Ankaragucu are known for their fans being the most hostile but loyal in Turkey, and Vassell instantly became a fans favourite. Scoring the winning goal in the derby match against rivals Genclerbirligi saw the striker run into the crowd and celebrate with the fans. (Pictured below.)
After a promising start to his Ankaragucu career, things started to go sour. When the Gokceks took control of the club the players wages weren't being paid. Vassell along with team mate Gustav Bebbe found themselves out on the streets after being kicked out of their hotel as the club hadn't paid the bills.
The striker then picked up a couple of injuries which saw him in and out of the team. Vassell never hid the fact that he was having problems off field with the new owners. All to often the Ankaragucu management make promises that they don't full fill. After a long battle to try and overcome these problems Vassell agreed to terminate his contract after 22 games and 4 goals.
He now plays his football with Leicester City and is hoping to help them get back to the Premier League. Just recently Darius got in touch with The Round Ball in Ankara to say he still keeps up to date with what's going on at the club, he also said that the fans give so much but receive nothing back. No truer words have been spoken.