"Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing."
Jamie Vardy: From Nowhere
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Jamie Vardy, London, Ebury, 2016. ISBN 9781785034824The book tells Jamie Vardy’s own story of how a boy who was rejected by Sheffield Wednesday, went from playing non league football to the Champions League and England in less than five years. When Leicester offered him £30,000 a week, he remarked that it was more than he used to get a year in his job in the factory.
Vardy was never an angel and he openly describes the incidents in his life – often caused by binge drinking – where he was on the wrong side of the law. When one such incident occurred as a Premier League player, he commented: “So much had been written and said about the incident and our house had been besieged by reporters. It really spelt out just how much my life had changed. And that meant that I needed to change with it because I never again wanted to find myself in a position where my career could be compromised”.
While he has clearly enjoyed his success he comes across as surprised and thankful for it. He describes Leicester paying £1 million for someone who had never made a league appearance as “ridiculous”. He enjoyed being one of a small group of players to score against both Manchester united and FC United of Manchester!
A comment about Fleetwood, which could also be applied to Leicester City, gives a real insight into his approach to life and football: “Work hard and play hard was the motto of our squad and it suited me perfectly… ability’s important, but that alone will only take you so far. You need spirit and togetherness as well, and at Fleetwood which we had all of that and more”.
The inside story of Leicester City avoiding relegation, winning the Premier League was Vardy setting a Premier league scoring record and getting it in the England team is a compelling story told in a very readable manner.