Football can save your life

This is the story of how a player went from wearing an electronic ankle bracelet and even serving a curfew to becoming his country’s leading striker.

He never had it easy. In fact, his first club, Sheffield Wednesday, chose to terminate his contract because of his poor physical presence. That setback dragged the irascible player to hell, where he flirted with alcohol and fighting.

After a year of boredom, he decided to channel all his genius into nerve on the field and began to reap the rewards. Stocksbridge Park Steels gave him the opportunity to redeem himself in the eighth division of English football. Despite combining his passion with a job in a brace factory, he repaid the trust placed in him by scoring goals and after three years, he stepped up to the plate by moving to the seventh division with Halifax Town. His scoring ability was so extraordinary that soon, the fifth division took notice of him.

No matter where he played or who he played against, he always responded. There was no longer any trace of that confused and distracted player. In 2012, Leicester came looking for him, making him the most expensive transfer of a non-professional player at the time (£1,000,000).

After a hesitant start, the striker once again showed his grit and electricity by catapulting the Foxes into the Premier League. Two seasons later, with the appearance on stage of characters such as Claudio Ranieri, Riyad Mahrez or N’Golo Kanté, he became a legend by proclaiming his team the winner of the Premier. Such exposure on the football scene opened him the doors to the national team.

This is the story of Jamie Vardy. The chimera of how he managed to direct the imbalance that controlled his life to inflict it only on a field.

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