After being released byÂ Sheffield WednesdayÂ at the age of sixteen, Vardy began his senior career withÂ Stocksbridge Park Steels, breaking into the first team in 2007 and spending three seasons there before joiningÂ Northern Premier LeagueÂ clubÂ F.C. Halifax TownÂ in 2010. Scoring 25 goals in his debut season, he won the club’s “Player’s Player of the Year” award and then moved toÂ Conference PremierÂ clubÂ Fleetwood TownÂ in August 2011 for an undisclosed fee. He scored 31 league goals in his first season at his new team, winning the team’s “Player of the Year” award as they won the division.
In May 2012, Vardy signed for Leicester City in theÂ ChampionshipÂ for aÂ non-LeagueÂ record transfer fee of Â£1Â million and helped the team win the Championship in 2014. In theÂ 2015â€“16 Premier LeagueÂ season, he scored in eleven consecutive Premier League matches, breakingÂ Ruud van Nistelrooy‘s record, and was voted theÂ Premier League Player of the SeasonÂ andÂ FWA Footballer of the YearÂ as outsiders Leicester won the title.
Born inÂ Sheffield, South Yorkshire,Â Vardy started his career with theÂ Stocksbridge Park SteelsÂ youth system at 16 years old after being released byÂ Sheffield Wednesday.Â He made his way through the reserve team and into the first team making his debut under manager Gary Marrow in 2007,Â earning Â£30 a week at the club.Â After impressive displays, a number ofÂ Football LeagueÂ teams became interested and in 2009 he spent a week on trial withÂ Crewe Alexandra.Â A move did not materialise and he later turned down a short-term contract withÂ Rotherham United.
In June 2010, managerÂ Neil Aspin, a long time admirer of Vardy’s talents, signed him forÂ F.C. Halifax TownÂ for a fee of Â£15,000.Â He made his debut on 21 August 2010 in the home match againstÂ Buxton, scoring the winning goal in a match that ended 2â€“1 to his new club.Â Vardy had a successful first season with “the Shaymen” finishing as the club’s top goalscorer with 25 goals from 37 appearancesÂ and being voted the Player’s Player of the Season. Towards the end of the season he came close to scoring aÂ hat-trickÂ of hat-tricks but failed to find a third goal in Halifax’s 3â€“1 win overÂ Nantwich Town.Â His goals helped secure theÂ Northern Premier LeagueÂ Premier Division title for the 2010â€“11 season.Â Vardy started the 2011â€“12 season with Halifax and scored three goals in the opening four matches of the season.
After just over a year with Halifax, Vardy signed forÂ Conference PremierÂ clubÂ Fleetwood TownÂ for an undisclosed fee.Â He made his debut the same day in a 0â€“0 home draw withÂ York City.Â He scored his first goals for the club in his third appearance, scoring twice in a 3â€“2 win away toÂ Kettering TownÂ on 3 September. The following week he scored another two goals againstÂ GatesheadÂ atÂ Highbury Stadium, including one in added time. He scored twice for a third consecutive match when on in the 3â€“1 away win againstÂ Ebbsfleet United, but did not score again for just over a month until he scored a hat-trick in the away
match againstÂ Alfreton TownÂ on 18 October.Â On 20 September, he was given a straight red card in a 5â€“2 home win overÂ Kidderminster Harriers, a match in which both teams played over an hour with ten men each.Â Four days after his hat-trick, Vardy scored two more goals in a 4â€“1 win overÂ Bath City, a result which left Fleetwood two points behind leadersÂ Wrexham.
In the first round of theÂ FA CupÂ on 12 November, Vardy scored the second goal in a 2â€“0 win overÂ League OneÂ clubÂ Wycombe Wanderers.Â Fifteen days later, his goal in a 1â€“1 draw at Gateshead meant that he had recorded a goal in each of his last six appearances, totalling ten goals in that period;Â he won the Conference Premier Player of the Month
On 1 January 2012, Vardy scored twice in a 6â€“0 win overÂ Southport, and six days later the team lost 5â€“1 at home to local rivalsÂ BlackpoolÂ in the third round of the Cup.Â After the match, Blackpool managerÂ Ian HollowayÂ made a Â£750,000 offer for him, which Fleetwood rejected, holding on for Â£1Â million and a loan back to the club.Â He totalled six goals in his first four matches of the calendar year.Â On 21 February, he recorded a second hat-trick of the campaign, in a 6â€“2 win over Ebbsfleet United which left Fleetwood two points ahead of Wrexham at the top of the table.Â Vardy scored both Fleetwood goals in a 2â€“2 draw againstÂ Lincoln CityÂ on 13 April;Â Wrexham’s draw againstÂ Grimsby TownÂ the next day gave Fleetwood the Conference title and a first-ever promotion to the Football League.Â Vardy’s 31 league goals saw him finish the season as the top scorer in the Conference Premier.
On 17 May 2012, it was announced that Vardy would be signing forÂ ChampionshipÂ clubÂ Leicester CityÂ ahead of the 2012â€“13 season, for a reported fee of Â£1Â million, a non-League record, which could potentially be worth up to Â£1.7Â million with add-ons.Â The next day, he signed on a three-year contract until June 2015.Â On 14 August, Vardy made his debut for Leicester againstÂ Torquay UnitedÂ in the first round of theÂ League Cup, playing the entirety of the match atÂ PlainmoorÂ and heading the final goal in a 4â€“0 win.Â Four days later he made his Football League debut at theÂ King Power Stadium, a 2â€“0 win overÂ Peterborough UnitedÂ in which he set up a goal forÂ Andy King.Â He scored his first league goal in a 2â€“1 away defeat toÂ Blackburn RoversÂ on 25 August. In September, he scored the winner in two 2â€“1 comeback victories, againstÂ BurnleyÂ andÂ Middlesbrough.Â Vardy’s first season at the club was marred by his own loss of form, prompting criticism from some City supporters on social media, and he even considered leaving football until managerÂ Nigel PearsonÂ and assistant managerÂ Craig ShakespeareÂ convinced him to continue with the club.
The following season brought a turn around in Vardy’s fortunes as he established himself as a prolific scorer in the Leicester attack as the club took a commanding lead at the top of the table.Â Vardy scored and won a penalty as Leicester beat high flying local rivalsÂ Derby CountyÂ 4â€“1 on 10 January 2014 and reaffirmed their position at the top of theÂ Championship.Â Vardy finished the season with 16 league goals as Leicester were promoted to the Premier League at the end of the season as champions,Â and was named Leicester’s Players’ Player of the season at the club’s awards.
On 19 August 2014, Vardy extended his contract until the summer of 2018.Â After missing the first two matches of the season through injury, he made his Premier League debut on 31 August 2014, as a second-half substitute in a 1â€“1 draw at home toÂ Arsenal. On 21 September, Vardy delivered a man of the match performance by scoring his firstÂ Premier LeagueÂ goal and setting up the other four as Leicester made a surprise comeback from 3â€“1 down to a 5â€“3 victory againstÂ Manchester United.
On 11 April 2015, Vardy scored a 90th-minute winning goal in the Foxes’ 3â€“2 victory atÂ West Bromwich Albion.Â Impressive form throughout the rest of April, including another winning goal, against Burnley on 25 April, saw Vardy nominated for theÂ Premier League Player of the MonthÂ award.Â Vardy and Leicester ended the 2014â€“15 season in a safe 14th position having picked up 22 points since 4 April, capping things off by opening the scoring in a 5â€“1 victory againstÂ Queens Park RangersÂ on the final day of the Premier League season on 24 May.
Vardy started theÂ 2015â€“16Â season by scoring the opening goal as Leicester picked up a 4â€“2 victory at home againstÂ SunderlandÂ on 8 August 2015.Â He scored the equaliser in Leicester’s 3â€“2 comeback victory against Aston Villa on 13 September.Â With two goals in Leicester’s 5â€“2 defeat to Arsenal on 26 September, Vardy reached seven league goals for the season, eclipsing his goal tally of the previous year.
On 24 October, he scored the only goal of a home win overÂ Crystal Palace, the seventh consecutive Premier League match in which he scored, and his tenth goal of the league season.Â Vardy scored in his eighth league match in a row on 31 October, and became only the third player ever to do so in the Premier League afterÂ Ruud van NistelrooyÂ (twice) andÂ Daniel Sturridge, in a 3â€“2 win over West Bromwich Albion.Â A week later, he won and scored a penalty to secure a 2â€“1 win overÂ Watford, putting him on nine consecutive matches with a goal, behind Van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record of ten.Â Vardy also became the first player in the Premiership to score in nine consecutive matches in a single season, as Van Nistelrooy’s 10 matches were at the end of the 2002â€“03 season and the beginning of the 2003â€“04 season.Â For his run of good form, Vardy was the Premier League Player of the Month for October 2015, the first Leicester player to be given the accolade since goalkeeperÂ Tim FlowersÂ in September 2000.
On 21 November, Vardy matched Van Nistelrooy’s record of consecutive Premier League matches with a goal, opening a 3â€“0 win overÂ Newcastle United.Â A week later, against Manchester United, he scored again to claim the record for himself.Â His run ended on 5 December when he did not score in a 3â€“0 win atÂ Swansea City. Had he done so, he would have equalled the English top-flight record of 12 consecutive scoring matches set byÂ Jimmy DunneÂ forÂ Sheffield UnitedÂ inÂ 1931â€“32; the result nonetheless put Leicester on top of the table.Â Following his goalscoring exploits, Vardy was again named as the Premier League Player of the Month for November,Â becoming only the fifth ever player to win the award in consecutive months.Â He was presented with a certificate fromÂ Guinness World RecordsÂ for his achievement.
By January 2016, Vardy’s transfer value had risen from Â£2.1Â million to Â£18.8Â million,Â with managerÂ Claudio RanieriÂ describing him as “priceless”.Â On 2 February, he scored both goals in a 2â€“0 win against Liverpool, the first being a long-distance volley described as “world class” by opposing managerÂ JÃ¼rgen Klopp.Â Four days later, he signed a new contract to keep himself at Leicester until 2019, increasing his weekly salary to Â£80,000.Â On 10 April 2016, Vardy scored both goals (his 20th and 21st of the season) in Leicester’s 2â€“0 win at Sunderland, becoming the first Leicester player sinceÂ Gary LinekerÂ in the 1984â€“85 season to score 20 goals in the top division of English football. The result also secured qualification to theÂ UEFA Champions LeagueÂ for the first time in Leicester’s history.Â A week later, Vardy scored the first goal of a 2â€“2 home draw againstÂ West Ham United, but was later sent off forÂ divingÂ in the penalty area under pressure fromÂ Angelo Ogbonna.Â He was charged with improper conduct for his reaction to the dismissal and was fined Â£10,000, as well as being suspended for two matches during a vital point of Leicester’s eventually successful title campaign.
With 24 league goals, Vardy was the second highest scorer in the Premier League for the 2015â€“16 season, alongsideÂ Sergio AgÃ¼ero, only one goal behind Golden Boot winnerÂ Harry Kane.Â Vardy was one of four Leicester players in theÂ PFA Team of the Year;Â he was later also named theÂ FWA Footballer of the Year,Â and the 2016 BarclaysÂ Premier League Player of the Season.
On 3 June 2016, Arsenal made a bid of Â£22Â million for Vardy, triggering a release clause in his contract. Leicester offered him improved terms, and 20 days later he agreed to a new four-year deal, to be signed on his return fromÂ UEFA Euro 2016. Vardy rejected Arsenal’s offer due to not being assured that he would be played in his normal position, and because of the differences between the two club’s tactics, withÂ ArsÃ¨ne WengerÂ favouring possession and Leicester playing on the counter-attack.
On 7 August 2016, he scored in a 2â€“1 defeat to Manchester United in theÂ 2016 FA Community Shield.Â Twenty days later, Vardy scored his first league goal of the season in Leicester’s first win of the campaign, beating Swansea City 2â€“1.
On 10 December 2016, Vardy ended his ten-match drought within the opening five minutes againstÂ Manchester City. He ended up scoring another two for his first professional hat-trick to help Leicester to a 4â€“2 victory, their first win in five league matches.Â A week later, he was sent off in the first half of a 2â€“2 draw at Stoke City for a challenge onÂ Mame Biram Diouf; Leicester appealed unsuccessfully against his three-match suspension.
Vardy commenced his 6th season at the club on 11 August 2017 by netting two goals in the 4â€“3 away loss toÂ ArsenalÂ in the opening day ofÂ 2017â€“18 Premier League.Â This was followed by three more goals in September, including one in the 1â€“1 draw againstÂ Huddersfield TownÂ which was one of two points collected by Leicester in four matches this month.Â On 16 October, Vardy made his 200th appearance for the club by starting in the 1â€“1 draw againstÂ West Bromwich Albion.Â Two weeks later, he scored the opener of a 2â€“0 home win againstÂ EvertonÂ to give “The Foxes” a second consecutive league win after six winless games and also to send them clear of relegation zone.Â It was
Later on 19 December 2017, Vardy scored a 97th-minute equaliser with a penalty kick in theÂ EFL CupÂ quarter-finalÂ match againstÂ Manchester CityÂ to tie the game 1â€“1; the game subsequently went to penalty shootouts where Vardy along withÂ Riyad MahrezÂ were the only players to miss their attempts as Leicester lost 3â€“4.Â Four days later, he netted his
50th Premier League goal in the 2â€“2 draw againstÂ Manchester United.Â Vardy continued his fine form by scoring his 10th Premier League goal of the season on 20 January of the following year via a penalty kick in the 2â€“0 home win versusÂ Watford.Â The following month, Vardy scored the lone goal of theÂ FA CupÂ fifth roundÂ match againstÂ Sheffield UnitedÂ to allow Leicester progression to quarter-finals,Â only to be eliminated
By netting a brace in the final day of the season, a 5â€“4 away defeat byÂ Tottenham Hotspur, Vardy reached 20-goal landmark in the Premier League for the second time in his career.Â Overall, he made 42 appearances in all competitions, scoring 23 times as Leicester finished the Premier League in 9th place.Â Vardy was the recipient of theÂ BBC Goal of the SeasonÂ award for a goal againstÂ West Bromwich AlbionÂ where he struck a first-time ball with his weaker foot that was looped over his shoulder at range by his strike partner Riyad Mahrez.
On 9 August 2018, just before the start of the 2018â€“19 season, Vardy signed a new four-year deal at Leicester, keeping him at the club until 2022, when he will be 35.Â Vardy started the season as a substitute, scoring a 92nd minute consolation goal in the 2â€“1 away defeat to Manchester United on the opening match of the season.Â He was sent off the following match after a harsh tackle onÂ WolvesÂ defenderÂ Matt Doherty.Â On 9 March
2019, Vardy scored his 100th goal for Leicester, scoring two goals in a 3â€“1 home win over Fulham.Â On 28 April 2019, Vardy scored another two goals, this time in a 3â€“0 home victory against Arsenal, bringing his goal tally in league football for Leicester to 100.
On 21 May 2015, Vardy was called up to theÂ English national teamÂ for the first time ahead of a friendly against theÂ Republic of IrelandÂ and aÂ UEFA Euro 2016 qualifyingÂ match againstÂ Slovenia. He made his debut on 7 June in the goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland at theÂ Aviva StadiumÂ in Dublin, replacing captainÂ Wayne RooneyÂ for the final 15 minutes.Â On 30 August, Vardy was again called up to the England squad for the matches againstÂ San MarinoÂ andÂ SwitzerlandÂ in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying,Â being selected in the starting line-up as England ran out 6â€“0 winners against San Marino inÂ SerravalleÂ six days later.Â Vardy scored his first international goal on 26 March 2016, equalising with a back heel fromÂ Nathaniel Clyne‘s cross, as a substitute in a 3â€“2 away win againstÂ Germany.Â He scored again, three days later, the opening goal in a 2â€“1 defeat to theÂ NetherlandsÂ atÂ Wembley.
Vardy made his tournament debut on 16 June, in England’s second group match at UEFA Euro 2016, coming off the bench in the second half to score an equalising goal againstÂ Wales, helping his team come from behind to win the match 2â€“1.Â During the tournament, there were media rumours of a feud between Vardy and fellow striker Rooney, which were denied by managerÂ Roy Hodgson.
He was named in the 23-man England squad for theÂ 2018 FIFA World Cup.Â He was used sparingly during the tournament, starting only the final group stage match againstÂ BelgiumÂ as the England side reached the World Cup semi-finals for only the third time in their history.
Style of play
Ian Wright, who also rose from non-League football to the Premier League and English national team, wrote in October 2015 that Vardy could be England’s equivalent toÂ Salvatore SchillaciÂ at UEFA Euro 2016: Schillaci, another late bloomer, began theÂ 1990 FIFA World CupÂ as a substitute behind more established players, and ended it as the top scorer.Â Wright, who first learnt of Vardy when his former Burnley teammateÂ Micky MellonÂ signed him for Fleetwood, rates Vardy as a hard-working player with a good first touch, who creates constant work for defenders, and plays by instinct instead of being moulded by his managers.Â Although he usually plays in a central role as a striker, he is a versatile player, who is capable of playing in several attacking positions, and has also been used as aÂ winger.
In addition to his goalscoring, Vardy is known for
his highÂ work rate, relentless running, and direct approach, and is also capable of creating chances for his teammates.Â He is considered an extremely fast and dynamic striker, with good positioning,Â and an excellent sense of space in the area;Â he is also known for his ability to play on the last defender’s shoulder, time his runs to beat the defensive line, and stretch opponents,Â which, combined with his pace, makes him a
threat on counter-attacks.Â A composed finisher and an accurateÂ penaltyÂ taker, he is also good in the air, and capable of striking the ball powerfully with both feet.Â Former England coach andÂ Sky SportsÂ punditÂ Gary NevilleÂ commented on how Vardy’s approach influences teammates: “He sets the tempo and the tone for the rest of the team and gives no other player behind him any excuse for not working
According to Leicester vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, Vardy drank heavily every night during his early days at the club, and would turn up at training still intoxicated. Srivaddhanaprabha discussed with Vardy over what he expected in his life, and Vardy gave up drinking and took training more seriously from then on.
DuringÂ UEFA Euro 2016, Vardy spoke to the media about his unusual lifestyle choices for a professional sportsperson. He said that he does not exercise in a gym, and that he consumesÂ Red BullÂ caffeinated beverages andÂ snusÂ smokeless tobacco.
Before turning professional, Vardy combined playing non-League football with a job as a technician making medicalÂ splints.Â In 2007, he received a conviction for assault following an incident outside a pub, and had to play with an electronic tag fitted for six months, while his curfew also limited his playing time at Stocksbridge Park Steels.
In August 2015,Â The Sun on SundayÂ published a video of Vardy at a casino the previous month, calling a man of East Asian origin a “Jap“. He apologised for a “regrettable error of judgement” and was fined by Leicester, who put him on an educational course.
Vardy met Rebekah Nicholson in 2014 while she was working as a nightclub promoter.Â The couple married on 25 May 2016 atÂ Peckforton CastleÂ in Cheshire, withÂ David NugentÂ as the best man.Â Vardy has four biological children, three with his wife, and one from a previous relationship. He is also a stepfather to two children from his wife’s previous relationships.
In November 2015, Vardy launchedÂ V9 Academy, an annual week-long camp designed to offer coaching and guidance to 60 non-League players and offer them the opportunity to showcase their talent in front of scouts from league clubs.Â The same month, Stocksbridge Park Steels named their main stand after him.Â In December 2015, theÂ Leicester-based food manufacturerÂ WalkersÂ brought out a limited edition ‘Vardy Salted’Â crispÂ flavour, in recognition of Vardy’s goalscoring run.Â Adrian Butchart, English writer of theÂ Goal!Â series of football-related fiction films, finished a script in 2016 for a film about Vardy.Â Vardy is an ambassador for Dorothy Goodman School, a special needs school inÂ Hinckley, Leicestershire.