If you want an unlikely Premier League hero to admire, look no further than the ice-cold Jamie Vardy.
It's been a meteoric rise from relatively humble football beginnings for Leicester's fox in the box. Just 11 years ago, Vardy was still playing in the fifth tier of English football. A year later Leicester parted with £1m for his services and, in retrospect, it looks like one of the bargains of the millennium.
🪜 The rise of @vardy7— Futaa.com (@Futaacom) January 11, 2022
🏭 2005 - Works in a factory
🏴 2011 - Plays in the English fifth tier
🔵 2012 - Joins @LCFC for £1m
🦁 2016 - Wins the Premier League
💯 2020 - Scores his 100th #EPL goal
🦊 2022 - 127 #EPL goals & counting
🎉 Jamie Vardy’s having a party. 35 today! pic.twitter.com/1ZujNsc99M
In 2016 Vardy and his Leicester teammates ripped up the script and shocked the world when they pulled off a modern miracle of elite sport. In a season when Claudio Ranieri led the Foxes to Premier League glory, Vardy scored 24 goals & assisted eight more, almost singlehandedly firing them to the title with the help of the brilliant Riyad Mahrez.
On the night when they were confirmed as champions, Vardy and his teammates gathered at the striker's house to celebrate in style.
On this day in 2016, the Vardy Party truly begun 🎉— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) May 2, 2020
Leicester did the unthinkable and won the Premier League 🏆 pic.twitter.com/Ap28wWCWQz
With 127 goals to his name in the Premier League, Vardy is now the 15th-most prolific player in the history of the top-flight and there's no reason to bet against him climbing further up the ranks. He's got 158 goals for Leicester in 374 matches across all competitions, meaning that a double century is not even remotely out of the question.
With Vardy's consistent goal-scoring track record in mind, can he even be bracketed as an "unlikely hero" anymore? Happy birthday to one of modern football's elite finishers. Jamie Richard Vardy turns 35 today.