Non League to Legend: Jamie Vardy
HERE WE GO. Introducing our little blog series where we discuss some famous faces who used to roam around in the Non League pyramid back in the day.
So, we are kicking it off in style! It wouldn’t be a ‘Non League to Legend’ if Jamie Vardy wasn’t involved.
So where do we begin..
It all looked doom and gloom at the age of 16 when Vardy was released by Sheffield Wednesday, but along came Stocksbridge Park Steels who swooped the young prospect up with a goal of getting him developed into a first team player. Vardy started out in the reserves but was soon to impress his manager at the time (Gary Marrow) by quickly getting into the first team.
Vardy was still earning at this level, but it was just £30 per week, a vast difference for what he’s on now. But he’s fully deserved every penny since! He put on some impressive displays in the lower tiers of the Non League pyramid, which then soon caught the attention of the full time professional clubs in the football league including; Crewe where he went on a week’s trial and also Rotherham United where he turned down a short term contract.
The rise in leagues began for Vardy as he signed for FC Halifax Town in 2010 for a whopping £15,000. Manager Neil Aspin certainly knew the striker he was after as Vardy’s numbers were very impressive. Netting 26 goals in 37 appearances it was a consistent solid tally for the young man who knew his eye for the goal when needed. He helped FC Halifax Town secure the Northern Premier League Division title.
One to remember Shaymen’s?
But also.. Fleetwood Town fans will hold Jamie Vardy close to their hearts as he helped them and guided them to a Conference Premier title in the 2011/12 season. Again, averaging a fantastic goal to game ratio of 31 goals in 36 appearances. Ian Holloway made an offer for Jamie Vardy after a local derby in the third round of the FA cup of a staggering £750,000! Fleetwood rejected this offer in hoping for a £1 million bid and a loan back clause.
The rest is then history!
Rumoured to be up to £1.7 million after ad-ons, a Non League record transfer bid from Leicester City. Fleetwood Town could not turn this mega money deal down as he secured his move in 2012 and since then has earned some accolades for him to be proud of.
Premier League Champions 2015/16
FA Cup Winners 2020/21
FA Community Shield Winners 2021
Football League Championship 2013/14