‘Here’s Vardy, Leicester quickly up the other end. Okazaki in the box. VARDY!

His scoring streak continues.”

28-year-old Jamie Vardy from Sheffield has caught the attention from every football fan, pundit and player across the UK. Scoring 12 goals in 12 games, Vardy has managed to score in each of his last nine games, making him the first player to do so in one season. Leicester’s next match against Newcastle will decide whether Vardy can equal the previous record for most consecutive goals scored, set by Ruud Van Nistleroy over two seasons. Despite all this glory and success, Jamie Vardy was not always a world-class striker.

Vardy’s career began at Sheffield Wednesday, however he was released at the age of 16, never making it to their senior squad. He signed for Stocksbridge Park Steels and took part in their youth system. After working his way through the reserve team, Vardy made his debut for the first team in 2007, signing a contract earning him £30 a week. In June 2010, he was signed by the F.C. Halifax Town manager Neil Aspin and made his first appearance in a home game against Buxton, in which he scored the winning goal. Vardy had a very successful season at the club. He managed to end the season as the club’s top goal scorer, bagging 27 goals, and was voted players player of the year.

After the opening four games in the following season, Vardy signed for Conference Premier side Fleetwood Town. During the same day that the signing was announced, he made his debut for the club but failed to score. Vardy finished the season with 34 goals in just 40 games, helping to give Fleetwood Town promotion to the Football League.

On the 17th of May 2012, Jamie Vardy was signed by Leicester city ahead of the 2012-13 season, for a non-league record breaking signing on fee of over £1 million. He played his first game for the ‘Foxes’ on the 14th August in the league cup against Torquay, heading in the final of four goals, in a flawless victory. His potential was extremely promising. However, his opening season for Leicester proved to be extremely underwhelming and Vardy’s form dropped over the course of the season. He even considered leaving the club, but manager Nigel Pearson convinced Vardy to stay. This proved to be the correct decision, as the following season he found his form and netted 16 goals throughout. Along with Leicester’s promotion to the Premier League, Vardy was granted Leicester’s player’s player of the year award at the club’s awards ceremony.

Jamie Vardy made his Premier League debut in game week three of the 2014-15 season, as he came on as a second-half substitute against Arsenal in a game that ended in a draw. His first premier league goal came almost a month later in a dramatic comeback to beat Machester United 5-3, in which he also assisted all four other goals. The rest of the season was mediocre at best for Vardy and for the Foxes, as they managed to finish comfortably above relegation in 14th.

Vardy’s 2015-16 season started off strong as he scored the opening goal in a 4-2 victory over Sunderland. He managed to accumulate a tally of seven goals after just seven games with a brace against Arsenal in a game that the Foxes lost 5-2. Vardy’s scoring streak continued, and he netted his 12th goal of the season against Watford. His chance was created by Riyad Mahrez, Leicester’s penalty taker, who offered Vardy the penalty to continue his scoring steak. His opportunity to equal the record set by Van Nistleroy now lies in Leicester’s next game against Newcastle, a game in which he will feel he must score. Not only to continue his streak and increase his goal tally, but also to help Leicester continue their brilliant form and more importantly prove that you don’t have to come from a top flight academy to be a world class player. Vardy is a prime example that hard work and dedication pays off.