We should also say something about his approach to the game, for which the word ‘brash’ is rather mild. It’s an abiding part of his appeal. Okay, his “all f**king mine” moment may have lacked just the tiniest bit of humility, but would you want him any other way? It’s like his style: straight to goal.
(By the way, he’s been sent off four times in his career, rather a lot for a striker. But be fair: he’s not ‘that sort of player’, just an intense competitor who occasionally gets out of control.)
Because he came to stardom late, his international career has been relatively ordinary. He also had the misfortune to emerge around the same time as Harry Kane. He didn’t get much chance in the most recent World Cup, starting only in the dead rubber against Belgium. And in a really unfortunate stroke of luck, an extra-time groin injury meant he couldn’t take his assigned place in the historic shootout against Colombia. And so it was Eric Dier who delivered the killer blow, when it might have been Vardy.
Still, in an ill-fated Euro 2016, Vardy came off the bench to score the equaliser in the group stage match against Wales, England’s only victory in the tournament. It was one of those right-place-right-time goals, a bit of a fluke, but he made a tricky finish look easy:
Now 33, has he declined at all? It certainly doesn’t seem so. Although Leicester play a different style these days, he can still get behind the defence when asked. His finishing was ridiculously good early in the season, and although it’s naturally faded somewhat, he’s still in the running for the Golden Boot, an honour that’s somehow eluded him so far. If he pulls it off, he gets official Old Folks XI legend status.
Whether he gets the gong or no, Vardy will be remembered for many special things: pace, attitude, the streak, the title. But to close I’d like to highlight something that doesn’t get mentioned as often: he stayed at Leicester City.
I’m not naïve enough to think it was all loyalty: he got a huge contract, and rejected Arsenal because their style didn’t suit his game. Nevertheless, in a world where the richest clubs routinely pick off the best talent, and where the Mailbox is filled with long lists of players Manchester United or Chelsea should sign, it’s been a pleasure to see a genuine star stay at a club where he made his name. He isn’t just Jamie Vardy: he’s Leicester’s Jamie Vardy.
So there have been no more titles, and there won’t be. But take a look at the table: City are pretty much a sure thing for the top four. That means Vardy will get another shot at the Champions League, while a lot of players at a richer club won’t. To which we can only say: yes! It’s just the place for a man with his title-winning record – including the most miraculous title of them all.
It's crazy to think he may not have even played in the PL had Leicester not got promoted with him in the side. Nobody took him on from Leciester and by the time they had noticed, it was too late, he was already playing on the biggest stage with the club who gave him the chance, so why move? A great story and a genuine role model for players in the lower leagues, if you work hard, it can happen.