Jamie Vardy is perhaps the ultimate story of the non-league footballer come good. Playing for Stocksbridge Park Steels in 2010, the Englishman ended the 2016 season as a Premier League title winner and a goal scorer for England at the European Championships.

A hard-working youth from Sheffield, Vardy defied the critics to rise to the challenge at each level. As comfortable in the Premier League as he was at non-league level, Vardy is a prime example of what can happen when a player believes in their ability to compete alongside the very best, and will not be remembered as one of the best strikers the Premier League has ever seen.

The 2016 title win was almost unbelievable. Having spent much of the earlier season in 20th position at the bottom of the Premier League table, it was a miracle that the Foxes clawed their way back to mid-table. Expectations were low the following season, yet Vardy and team-mate Riyad Mahrez’s stunning form saw the 5,000/1 rank outsiders upset the odds and take home the title for the first time in the club’s history. Few will forget the jubilant scenes in Leicester when Chelsea came from behind to draw with Spurs to hand the title to the blue portion of the East Midlands.

Far from a ‘one-season wonder’, Vardy has proven himself repeatedly on the Premier League stage. Having won the Premier League title with the Foxes in 2016 in one of the biggest sporting shocks of all time, Vardy continues to prove himself at the highest level. Anyone who saw the English striker tearing Manchester City apart in a fast-flowing 5-2 win at the Etihad Stadium in late September will be clear that

Vardy might not be playing Champions League football this season, but he has graced Europe’s top competition before in the season after Leicester’s improbable title win. European competition is famous around the world, and has inspired several media titles, including the famous Goal! movies, and the popular Champions Cup slot game. There are sites available that host bonus offers for a range of football-themed games, and a whole host of slots with no wagering requirements. Equally, players can still make their own dream teams with Vardy in games such as FIFA or Football Manager.

Despite still being consistently ranked as one of the top scorers in the best league in the world, Vardy will not finish his career with a dream World Cup win in Qatar in 2022. He essentially retired from international duty back in 2018, with manager Gareth Southgate looking to focus on younger talent in the quest to end 54 years (and counting) of hurt.

Few would have backed Vardy to make much of an impact when he moved from Fleetwood Town to Leicester City back in 2012. His transformation has been so stark that some even suggested that his career path should be the subject of a big-budget film, such is the nature of his against-all-odds success story. He might not win the World Cup with England, but Vardy’s non-league rags to riches story stands as a tale that England as a whole should be proud of.

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