Rags-to-riches star pulled 12-hour shifts at the factory while playing for £30-a-week in non-League
JAMIE VARDY returned to the factory where worked 12-hour shifts as a teenager – making prosthetic limbs.
The Leicester and England striker has enjoyed one of the most remarkable rags-to-riches rises in British football in recent years.
And the 30-year-old was back to where it all started – before the Premier League winners medal, the England caps and the £120,000-a-week contract.
After being rejected as a teenager by hometown club Sheffield Wednesday at 16, Vardy eventually wound up at Trulife, a carbon fibre factory.
Vardy, along with wife Rebekah, toured the factory floor and even caught up with former colleagues Mick Brown and Danny Hirst.
Vardy is filming for his new series ‘The Next Jamie Vardy’, which starts on Saturday on Sky 1 at 11.30am.
When Vardy was working at the factory he was playing for non-League Stocksbridge Park Steels, earning just £30-a-week while playing in the eighth tier of English football.
An assault charge, for ‘defending’ a deaf mate, came around this time and Vardy had to play with an ankle tag for a few weeks.
In some matches he could only play 60 minutes as he had to get home to ensure he didn’t miss his 6pm curfew.
But his meteoric rise soon began.
After 66 goals in three seasons at the club, Halifax Town took a chance on the youngster and he duly responded with 29 goals.
Then ambitious non-League club Fleetwood Town paid out £150,000 and put Vardy on £850-a-week wages.
The striker again proved a brilliant bit of business, scoring 34 goals to fire the side into League Two.
Nigel Pearson then took the biggest gamble on Vardy, spending £1million – a record for a non-League player – to bring him to Leicester.
And although Vardy took a season to adjust, scoring just four goals in his first campaign, he has since become one of English football’s hottest commodities.
He scored 16 goals the next year to help lead the Foxes to the Premier League, and five crucial goals his first season in the top flight as Leicester avoided relegation.
It was the next season, of course, when Vardy grabbed international attention.
He scored a stunning 24 goals, including a record 11 in consecutive games, as Claudio Ranieri’s men shocked the world to win the Premier League title.
England caps also followed, as did goals against Germany the Netherlands and one in the disastrous Euro 2016 campaign.
Last season was much more difficult and likeable Italian Ranieri was eventually sacked.
But the Foxes improved under Craig Shakespeare, with Vardy scoring eight goals in the final three months of the season to keep the club up.
Vardy already has three goals this season – although Leicester have lost three of their four matches.