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Jamie Vardy: From longshot to legend

The casual sports fan probably had never heard of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy until the past few weeks, but he is now a Premier League legend. Vardy scored a goal against Manchester United to become the first Premier League player to have a goal in 11 consecutive BPL games, passing Ruud Van Nistelrooy. To say that Leicester fans were excited is an understatement, and the team’s official Twitter account proves just that.

And here is video of the record-breaking goal by Vardy.

While the story this season for Leicester City is a Vardy-led machine that finds itself at the top of the Premier League table, the future was not always so crystal clear for Vardy. According to Express (UK), Vardy was rejected for being too small by Sheffield Wednesday when he was 16, and he was playing for the second team of Stocksbridge Park Steels only 10 years ago. Hardy then bounced around from Halifax, Fleetwood and finally Leicester City in 2012. He was promoted to the first-team and then was also placed on the England roster shortly after.

In 2007, Vardy was convicted of assault after “defending” a friend outside of a pub, but he didn’t even let that derail his ultimate goal of becoming a great soccer star. Vardy is a man of smaller stature that knows no better than to keep his head down and put in hard work, and he also is a fearless, scrappy striker used to attempts to break him down physically and mentally. He is not afraid to get physical with bigger and more intimidating defenders either.

“Nothing changes in his style,” said Allen Bethel, the Stocksbridge chairman. “There was a moment in the Newcastle game recently where he is all arms and legs and shoulders and shoves a big defender [Chancel Mbemba] off the ball. It could have been playing on a muddy pitch at Bracken Moor Lane [Stockbridge’s home ground]. He has never changed,” via Express Sport.

From upper management members of clubs where Vardy has played to former teammates at Fleetwood, everyone know how hard Vardy works and that most of his success is due to his fearless attitude. Andy Mangan was Vardy’s teammate and strike partner at Fleetwood, and the two of them were league breakers together. They combined for 58 goals one season and led a Fleetwood 29-game unbeaten streak that same year and Fleetwood won the league.

“One thing I know is that if we wouldn’t have had Jamie Vardy that year there is not a chance we would have won that league,” said Mangan. “I scored 24 and he scored 34 and set up most of mine but the biggest thing you can say about him, the biggest inspiration, is that he fears nothing.

“He could play against John Terry or whoever – he doesn’t care. He just goes out there and plays his football,” via Express.

Fearlessness and determination have formed Vardy into a formidable opponent and fans are now seeing what all of his hard work is doing for his career, and he is fun to watch.

A legend has been formed through the stoked fire of many different leagues and levels, and Vardy has become a crafted striker as a result. And he has now placed himself into the realm of household names as well.

 

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