Now a Premier League star and on the cusp of representing his country at Euro 2016, if all goes to plan, the rise to stardom for Jamie Vardy has been something of a fairy tale.
It was no easy feat, of course. There was heartbreak; despair; doubt - nearly every bleak description you could care to mention - but the 28-year-old achieved what so many players before have failed to do.
But just where did it all start? Well, the story begins when Vardy was but a 16-year-old whipper-snapper; another young footballer with the same dream of reaching the Premier League.
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Training hard and attempting to work his way up the ladder of Sheffield Wednesday's youth academy - his boyhood club - Vardy had his dream reduced to heartbreak when the Owls' lack of faith in the youngster resulted in his release.
A moment Vardy describes as his 'lowest point', and with nowhere else to turn, Stocksbridge Park Steels came knocking and offered him a deal.
From that moment on, the Englishman's determination and love for the game shined as he refused to turn his back on his dreams - though times were tough for a while.
In 2010, Vardy was earning a living from making medical splints whilst earning £30 a week for the Steels, for whom he scored 66 goals in 107 appearances.
Eventually, his sheer tenacity paid off and Northern Premier League outfit, Halifax Town, were interested.
After just a single season in 2010/11, the Yorkshireman turned Halifax's faith into results, scoring 29 goals and practically dragging the Shaymen to the Northern Premier League title, thus promoting them to the Conference South and writing his name on many scout lists.
CLIMBING THE LADDER
Fleetwood Town would be the next lucky recipients of the wanted man's signature. Still lingering outside of the Football League, Vardy was slowly working his way up the footballing ladder.
He would spend a solitary 2011/12 season with Fleetwood, doing nothing but scoring goals - 31 strikes in 36 appearances to be exact. An unbelievable debut season it was, and one that ended in promotion.
Vardy's dream was realised. A step up to the Football League followed for Fleetwood and at long last, the former academy reject was officially a professional footballer.
Yet the Jamie Vardy freight train was still moving; he wasn't stopping there. It was back to business in 2012/13, but before he had the chance of writing his name further into Fleetwood folklore, Leicester City offered £1 million for the dynamo's services.
STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM
And just like that, the conference big-hitter was attempting to assault Premier League promotion.
Fast forward to the present and Vardy has earned promotion with the Foxes and is now spearhead to the fast, clinical and dangerous front line that has powered City to third in the Premier League after 12 games.
Now, the England international is chasing success for both club and country whilst striving for the Premier League Golden Boot - a far cry from the seemingly failed footballer but a decade before.
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