There is about as much chance that Jamie Vardy wrote this book as Leicester City have of ever winning the Premier League – Oops – Tee hee! Mud on the face - again!
Actually, we know he was rubbish at school because the book tells us that very same thing several times, his only good subject being maths, skills honed calculating Darts check-outs.
Everyone knows that sports stars and celebrities often get someone else to write their “story” and that was done here. You can see that in the title “With” Stuart James, it says, so we know who did the bulk of the writing.
And well written it is too. The book cracks along at a great pace, and what’s more it is an incredible story. As a kid he was told he was too small to make it as a pro, that happens to many of us, yours truly included, but somehow Jamie Vardy still did make it, and via an extraordinary route at that, through Stockbridge Steel, to Halifax, Fleetwood and ultimately, the aforementioned Leicester, and not forgetting England too. You have to give him huge credit for that. So if you are among the vast ranks of the rejected and dejected you can take great comfort from this book.
There were one or two things I did not like. Firstly, the reliance on bad language, and then some, it’s everywhere, and call me old fashioned but would you really want your ten year old boy, or girl come to that, to read and repeat such things. Okay, the guy isn’t going to say to refs: “Oh bother, jolly hockey sticks”, but there will be people out there who won’t like it here.
Secondly, it is truly amazing how much alcohol is still taken among the football fraternity. I rather thought that had to some extent gone out of the game after Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson clamped down on it, but the wonder of it is that the players were ever fit and able to play for Leicester City, never mind capable of bashing up allcomers, not literally, you understand. Mister Vardy hinted toward the end of the book that he had seriously cut back on his consumption, and surely that was for the better.
But leaving those two gripes aside this is a truly engaging tale. A fairytale even, and one that even had Hollywood sniffing round with the idea of making a movie of his life story. That couldn’t possibly happen too, could it? Talk of that has gone a bit quiet lately, we’ll have to wait and see on that one.
The book ends with the Premier League win, which is somewhat disappointing for I’m sure the readers would love to hear his side of the story about what happened the following season when the club slumped and the unfortunate Claudio Ranieri was sacked. Maybe there will be a follow up second book with yet more revelations; I’d certainly buy it.
The book is easy to read, keeps the reader interested all the way through, and gives an insight into Jamie’s quite complicated life. If you like sports biogs do give this one a twirl. And if I was still playing football today, (chance would be a fine thing!) would I want Jamie Vardy on my side?
Course I would. He’d be first pick! Absolutely. Though we might have a scrap over who takes the peno’s.