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From Northern Premier To English Premier: The Rise of Jamie Vardy

December 05, 2015

- Grant Whittington

Not even Jamie Vardy could have predicted his incredible rise through the leagues of English football. After being released by the Sheffield Wednesday academy at the age of 16, he would have been forgiven for thinking that his career was over before it had even started.

Yet the young striker’s natural tenacity clearly held him in good stead. Beginning at local non-league team, Stocksbridge Park Steels in 2007, Vardy made his way up through the reserves and into the first team, where he scored 66 goals in 107 appearances.

From £30-A-Week To Million Pound Man

He would then go on to be equally impressive for F.C. Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town, before he was snapped up by Leicester City in 2012 for £1 million. This is a non-league record which showed the faith that the Foxes had in their new man.

Vardy’s first season at the Foxes (2012/13) was not successful and he drew some criticism from City fans on social media. Such was his disillusionment that Vardy actually considered quitting football at the end of his first season at the Midlands club.

Then manager Nigel Pearson and assistant Craig Shakespeare convinced him to stay and this turned out to be a wise move. Vardy’s form improved dramatically in 2013/14, during which he hit 16 goals. This contribution proved a major factor in the club’s promotion to the Premier League.

During the current Premier League season, Vardy has hit new heights. His run of scoring in 11 straight Premier League matches means that he now has a place in the record books. After breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy’s previous record of scoring in 10 successive matches, Vardy is in illustrious company.

What makes Jamie Vardy so effective?

The one thing that defines Vardy more than anything else is persistence. He didn’t give up when Sheffield Wednesday rejected him, nor when he lost form in his first season at Leicester. And it’s the same on the pitch…

No Premier League forward has made as many as his 17 tackles. Those 14 goals have come from a similarly unmatched 58 shots on goal. The career rise of the former factory worker from Sheffield has been a true rags to riches story. With this in mind, it would seem very fitting that a Hollywood biopic about Vardy is in the works.

Vardy calls himself a ‘pest’ on the pitch and this is a very accurate description. He is blessed with a mix of searing pace and stamina. It is his natural fitness that has allowed him to terrorise defenders in whichever division he has played.

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