Jamie Vardy’s amazing story from underdog to champion:
> Jamie had dreams of being a footballer, but was rejected by Sheffield Wednesday F.C. when he was 16 for being too small
> Not giving up, he went to work as a labourer in a carbon fibre factory, working 12 hour shifts, so he could join 7th division team, Stockbridge Park, spending 3 years earning £30 a week.
> At 20 years old he was convicted for assault after a pub fight, but kept playing football, and had to play for 6 months with an ankle bracelet and a 6pm curfew.
> In a world where footballers are transferred for millions, he was transferred to Halifax Town for £15,000 in 2010.
> At 25 years old, he was sold to Leicester City in 2012, a team that have never won the Premier League. He only scored 4 goals all season and came under fire from the fans.
> He ended the 2014-15 season with the team on the threat of relegation, with a Thai sex tape scandal that led to three of the players (including the manager’s son), and then the manager, leaving the team.
> He started this season with a new manager, Claudio Ranieri, who had been out of work for eight months after being fired from Greece after only four months on the job.
Then what happened in the last year?
Jamie breaks the Guinness World Record with 11 goals in 11 games and becomes the first player at Leicester to score 20+ goals since Gary Lineker in 1984.
He helps lead Leicester City from 5000-1 underdogs to winning the Premier League this week in what has been called the “most unlikely triumph in the history of team sport”.
Gary Lineker has said of his hometown team’s victory that it is “the biggest sporting shock of my lifetime. I can’t think of anything that surpasses it in sporting history. It is difficult to put over in words.. It was hard to breathe. I was a season ticket holder from the age of seven. This is actually impossible.”
Alan Shearer has said “For a team like Leicester to come and take the giants on with their wealth and experience – not only take them on but to beat them – I think it’s the biggest thing to happen in football.”
This week Jamie has also been named the Football Writers’ Player of the Year.
The inspiration in the story?
Never give up. Anything can happen. And sometimes it does.
“Anything can happen. If the underdog wants a game bad enough, they can go out and get it. We just need to keep on playing as hard as we can.” ~ Ashley Langen
Big congratulations to Jamie Vardy and Leicester City!
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog.” ~ Mark Twain