Jamie Vardy’s incredible rise from non-League footballer to Premier League champion is a story that will be told for years to come by football fans.
The Leicester City striker, who was playing for Halifax Town only five years ago, has scored 22 goals in England’s top-flight this season and played a huge role in the Foxes’ ascent.
However, it hasn’t all been easy for Vardy en route to stardom, with the club’s vice-chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprahba, revealing the 29-year-old struggled to adapt after completing his £1 million move to the King Power Stadium in 2012.
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So much so that according to Srivaddhanaprahba, Vardy used to turn up to training drunk.
He told Thailand’s Day Magazine, per Goal: “Back then, I think he didn’t even have what it took to play in the Premier League.
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“The day we bought him, he came to me and thanked me for changing his life. He had never had this much money so he was over the moon already.
“He went straight from the bottom to the Championship, which eventually led him to start drinking booze every single day. We had no idea what to do.
“I didn’t know about this until someone told me that he came to training while he was still drunk. So I went to talk to him myself.
"I asked ‘do you wish to end your career like this? Do you want to stay here like this? We’ll let your contract run out, then release you. Don’t expect a better career path'.
“He said he didn’t know what to do with his life. So I asked him ‘what’s your dream? I invested in you, so you have to do something in return'.
“After that he simply quit drinking and started working hard in training."
Srivaddhanaprahba also revealed he didn’t even want Vardy four years ago and that fans were angry when they discovered how much the club had paid.
“I was against signing Jamie Vardy in the first place,” he continued.
“I asked Nigel Pearson and Steve Walsh about him, checked the scout reports, and I started to believe he would be a good signing.
“But I had to answer the supporters who were asking ‘how is a non-League player worth £1 million’."
'I was against signing Jamie Vardy' - just let that sink in for a moment. If Srivaddhanaprahba had decided against signing the Englishman, they might never have won the Premier League.
Unbelievable to think that Vardy has gone from a Championship footballer with a drinking problem to a Premier League winner and full England international.
The ultimate rags to riches story.
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