Jamie Richard Vardy (born 11 January 1987) is an English professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Leicester City and the England national team. He plays as a striker, but can also play as a winger.
After being released by Sheffield Wednesday at the age of sixteen, Vardy began his senior career with Stocksbridge Park Steels, breaking into the first team in 2007 and spending three seasons before joining Northern Premier League side F.C. Halifax Town in 2010. Scoring 26 goals in his debut season, he won the club’s “Player’s Player of the Year” award, then moved to Conference Premier side Fleetwood Town 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 the Football League Championship for a non-League record transfer fee of £1 million, and helped the team win the Championship in 2014. In the 2015–16 Premier League season, he scored in eleven consecutive Premier League matches, breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record, and was voted the Premier League Player of the Season and FWA Footballer of the Year as outsiders Leicester won the title. Vardy made his international debut in June 2015 and was selected for UEFA Euro 2016.
Vardy is known for his high work-rate, relentless running, and direct approach; he is an extremely fast and dynamic striker, with good positioning, and an excellent sense of space in the area. A composed finisher and an accurate penalty taker, he is also good in the air, and capable of striking the ball powerfully with both feet. England coach and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville 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 hard.”
On 21 May 2015, Vardy was called up to the England national football team for the first time ahead of a friendly against the Republic of Ireland and a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Slovenia. On 16 June, in his nation’s second group match at UEFA Euro 2016, he came off the bench in the second half to make his tournament debut, with England trailing 1–0 against Wales, and scored the equalising goal, helping his team come from behind to win the match 2–1. During the tournament, there were media rumours of a feud between Vardy and fellow striker Rooney, which was refuted by manager Roy Hodgson.