Jamie Vardy has had quite an eventful 12 months.
This time last year, the Leicester City striker was coming off the back of a narrow escape from relegation, and looking forward to heading off on holiday ahead of the new season.
Fast forward 12 months, and the former FC Halifax Town man is a Premier League winner, fully established England player, and the record holder for scoring in 11 successive Premier League games.
But the dramatic shift in Vardy’s life has come with a fair few issues, as the striker now lives under a self-imposed curfew to stay out of the limelight that comes with scoring 24 goals and lifting the league title.
Throughout his career, the 29-year-old has attracted attention.
From his days at Halifax, he was the star man, despite being forced to play with a tag on his ankle after being charged with assault in 2007 – the tag actually prevented him from going to some away games as they were out of range.
At Fleetwood, his scoring record soon earned him a move to Leicester – a transfer that saw him become the first million pound non-league player in history.
And after last season, he’s now on £100,000 per week, and has to do all he can to stay grounded and away from the limelight that comes with his achievements.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Vardy explained:
It is carnage. I basically can’t go out at the minute and I don’t leave my house.
I have put myself on a curfew but without the tag on my ankle.
It was alright-ish before but now it doesn’t matter where you go. It changed after breaking the record, when I scored 11 league goals in a row.
Now I prefer to stay at home and spend more time with the kids and on my computer, time with my wife.Advertisement
I’m still pinching myself all the time at how the last few years have gone.
And he could be forgiven for pinching himself. Who’d have thought a Sheffield Wednesday reject at 16 years old would go on to have an autobiography and movie being released in the next year?
Vardy is hoping for a footballing sequel to last season’s incredible achievements though, as Leicester begin their title defence with an away trip to Hull City.
However, bigger clubs are sniffing around the Foxes, and N’Golo Kante has already left for Chelsea in a £30m move.
And Arsenal are chasing another of Leicester’s heroes – 17 goal winger Riyad Mahrez – but Vardy wants the Algerian to stay and be part of Leicester’s magical adventure.
I feel the club is still going up. It’s like one of those fairground rides, the volcano ones where you sit in a chair and just go ‘whoosh’! That’s what the owners want as well, and so does the boss.Advertisement
We’d obviously love Riyad to stay. There is nothing personally I can do, it is down to the club, the player himself and any interested parties.
On that front there is nothing I can do, but hopefully me signing my contract is a way of showing that clubs can be rejected.
Vardy and Mahrez – if he stays – will have pencilled in August 25 in their diaries.
That’s the day the draw for the Champions League group stages is announced, and Leicester get to mix it with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
The Vardy fairytale continues.