JAMIE VARDY used to turn up “drunk” to Leicester’s training sessions – according to the club’s owner.
The striker had just moved to the then-Championship club from non-league Fleetwood Town in 2012, for a then-eye-popping £1million.
But the club’s owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha revealed the move changed Vardy’s life in ways he could not imagine at the time – and he appeared to deal with the pressure by knocking back a few too many pints.
Srivaddhanaprabha told the Sun: “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.
“So I went to talk to him myself, I asked ‘do you wish to end your career 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?
“After that he simply quit drinking and started working hard in training, he’s turned into a new person.”
Not only has Vardy turned into a ‘new person’, he’s developed into one of the best strikers in the Premier League and looks certain to be included in the England squad for Euro 2016 this summer.
After finding the back of the net five times in his first season with Leicester, he managed 16 the next campaign as the Foxes were promoted from the Championship.
And after impressing in his first season in the top-flight, Vardy has been a key figure in Leicester’s remarkable Premier League title triumph this time around, bagging 24 goals to date in all competitions, including the 11 he scored in 11 consecutive league games to break Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record.