Sunday 23 October 2016

'He was drinking every day' - Leicester executive almost sacked Jamie Vardy for coming to training drunk

Tom Rooney

Published 05/05/2016 | 12:47

Jamie Vardy's goals have been crucial to Leicester's stunning title success
Jamie Vardy's goals have been crucial to Leicester's stunning title success

A Leicester City executive has admitted to once threatening to sack star striker Jamie Vardy after he reported to training inebriated.

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Jamie Vardy’s journey from non-league unknown to the main goal source of the Premier League’s most unlikeliest of champions hardly needs repeating at this stage, and, besides, there’s a Hollywood movie in the works.

However, one such yarn that may not make it into the final cut has been told by Leicester’s vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha to the A Day Magazine.

Following the Foxes’ £1m purchase of Vardy from Fleetwood in 2012, it seems as though the attacker's change in circumstances led to some unwanted consequences.

Such as Vardy blowing much of his earnings on nightly boozing, the affects of which hadn’t subsided when he showed up for training one morning.

“He went straight from the bottom to the Championship, which eventually led him to start drinking booze every single day.

"We had no idea what to do. I didn’t even know about this until someone told me that he came to train while he was still drunk,” Srivaddhanaprabha revealed.

Worried that Vardy would destroy his undoubted potential, Srivaddhanaprabha decided to take matters into his own hands, and lay down the law to the wayward diamond in the rough. It so happens that Vardy was overwhelmed by his new found wealth.

“So I went to talk to him myself, I asked ‘do you wish to end your career like this? Do you want to stay here like this? We’ll let your contract run out then release you. Don’t expect a better career path.’

“He said he didn’t know what to do with his life. He’d never earned such a large amount of money. So I asked him ‘what’s your dream?

“‘How do you think your life should be? Just think carefully about what would you do for the club. I invested in you, do you have something in return?’”

The dressing down obviously did the trick because Vardy quickly changed his social habits and became a fervent trainer.

Besides his goals, of which he’s scored 22 in the league this season, the 29-year-old has also received plaudits for his electric pace and seemingly inexhaustible endurance.

Srivaddhanaprabha said the latter two attributes were honed over time.

“After that he simply quit drinking and started working hard in training. His physicality wasn’t as good as it is now.

“We know he had explosive acceleration, but we simply had no idea he could be this good. He’s adapting, working on fitness training, he’s turned into a new person. And that’s better.”

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