Jamie Vardy: My Story by Jamie VardyJamie Vardy, the free-scoring talisman behind Leicester City’s Premier League Champion title, has become a modern against-the-odds footballing hero the world over. Rejected as a teenager by his boyhood club Sheffield Wednesday, Jamie thought his chances had gone. But from playing pub football and earning ?30 a week at Stocksbridge Park Steels while working in a factory, his impressive performances and hard work saw him rise again. After successful spells at Halifax Town and then Fleetwood Town, he finally moved to Championship team Leicester City. They gained their dream promotion to the Premier League and after surviving relegation by the skin of their teeth, came the fairy-tale season where a team arose together and everything clicked. Vardys incredible 22 goals, including setting the record as the first player to score in 11 consecutive Premier League matches, helped Leicester City beat odds of 5000-1 to become Champions. Defying all expectations it is simply one of the greatest sporting stories of all time.
“Even now there are moments when I shake my head at the madness of it all – going from the factory floor and playing Sunday morning pub football with my mates, to scoring for my country against the World Cup winners in Berlin. Its the stuff of dreams. It hasnt always been an easy journey, some doubted that I was capable, and at times I was probably guilty of not helping myself, but nobody can question my passion for football or my commitment once I set foot on the pitch. There is so much that people don’t know and I look forward to sharing all of that and more in what I hope will be an entertaining and inspiring story.” Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy: My Story
Rags-to-riches tends to be an over-used phrase, but in this case, it fits very well indeed. But after reading this, it seems clear that Wednesday, who were going through a torrid time financially, had simply decided to cut back their academy teams, and Vardy — along with future England rugby union star Danny Care, who was also on their books — was collateral damage. In fact, the years out of the professional game may even have done him some good — at least he should be more grateful for what he now has. His autobiography is, in truth, rather thin. What it does show is the bizarre world of these young men who are plucked from obscurity, often with little education and no thought of the future, and given wealth beyond their wildest dreams — and then have no idea how to spend their money or time. Perhaps the one thing we can learn from it is that players could use a little training in how to live, as well as how to score goals. There should also be an extra chapter added at the end telling readers the story of this season, which has seen Leicester struggle to match the heights of their title win, play in the Champions League for the first time while flirting with relegation and sack Claudio Ranieri, the man who brought them so much unexpected success.
Unfortunately, this low level of insight is fairly typical of the subsequent or so pages. Early on we get a picture of a youngster more interested in football than school with the exception of maths. Once he starts playing part-time after being rejected by Sheffield Wednesday, we see a young man who likes going out drinking with his friends as much as playing football. More of this kind of detail would have made for a better autobiography and an understanding of the person behind the professional footballer. The narrative might have been livened up with some insight into other professional footballers, but there is little other than an account of how Esteban Cambiasso and Vardy clashed and a brief description of why he chose David Nugent to be his best man. The tenth chapter, in which Vardy talks about being accused of racism following an incident at a casino and the media pressure on his family, is the best. The reader gets more insight into a modest and grateful man who sometimes puts his foot in it; there is a sense of decency in his wish to apologise in person for the casino incident, and of poignancy as the reader hears of the cracks that have appeared in his family relationships.
Rejected as a teenager by his boyhood club, Jamie thought his chance was gone. Jamie had a wild and turbulent youth, but football became his saving grace and, once he filled his boots with goals at FC Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town, he moved to Leicester City. After the miracle of surviving relegation, the team of unlikely outsiders bonded together to achieve the unthinkable: Jamie set the record as the first player to score in 11 consecutive Premier League matches and Leicester beat odds of to become champions. Not forgetting his roots, however, he has set up the V9 Academy in a bid to find the next big talent from non-league football. Defying all expectations, this is the story of the boy from nowhere who reached the top in his own unflinching, honest words. In , he scored in 11 consecutive matches and helped outsiders Leicester win the Premier League title. He lives in the East Midlands with his wife and their children.
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