Welcome back to the latest series of articles from Last Word on Football. This time we look back on the footballers who many class as Premier League legends. Players who wowed the crowd, frustrated the opposition, scored great goals and inspired their team to glory.
This edition reviews the Premier League winner Jamie Vardy, whose meteoric rise saw him storm the league with Leicester City. He is currently on target to become the oldest winner of Golden Boot in the League with 19 goals.
Premier League Legends: Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy and His Meteoric Rise
It is fundamental to consider Vardy’s journey prior to his Leicester City career. He began his senior career at Stocksbridge Park Steels.
He left the club in 2010 for Halifax Town in the Conference. From there he made his Football League debut with Fleetwood Town. At the end of that season, he was snapped up by Leicester City. In just the space of four years after 2010, he had climbed from non-league obscurity to the Premier League.
Premier League Winner
What a season it was for Leicester City. Jamie Vardy played an important part in his team’s success. He even broke records along the way. In the 2015–16 Premier League winning season, he scored in eleven consecutive Premier League matches; he took Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record.
At the end of this season, he won the Premier League Player of the Season. Furthermore, he added another accolade in becoming the FWA Footballer of the Year.
It is this wonderful achievement in which Vardy played his part that made his name as a Premier League legend. He was part of a squad that did not take a hundred million pound budget to build. His own story is synonymous with his club’s in proving that success doesn’t require a bulging chequebook and that sometimes the underdog can rise to the top.
Vardy has kept himself in fine physical condition over the years. He is concerned with keeping his speed and thus opts not to gain too much muscle mass.
‘I don’t go to the gym, if I did it will slow me down. I don’t go in for weights or anything like that’ he told the Metro.
Indeed, it is his electric pace that allows him to blast past defenders. Even at 33, he is a nimble player.
Vardy has a checkered past on and off the pitch.
On the pitch, he has sent off for diving which indicates that way in which he can exploit the game to help his team. This is perhaps just excusable as part of the modern game.
However, off the pitch, he deserves no ‘legend’ status. He has since apologised for his racist remark, after pleading his ignorance to the term, ‘Jap’ which he used to abuse a man in a casino.
Vardy’s next challenge will be against Watford in five days time.