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What we can learn from Jamie Vardy’s “Rags to Riches” Story…

We are at the advent of England’s Euro 2016 campaign this week and, much like Roy and the team, we at Sports Direct have been busy preparing. The Euros are a peak driving force for our business and with this much focus on the beautiful game, it’s been difficult not to discuss the success and expectations of Jamie Vardy.

His ‘rags to riches’ story is a perfect example of life being stranger than fiction. With his rise from non-league to professional football, his ascension to the premier league and the announcement last year of his international debut, Jamie’s story reads like the plot of a Hollywood movie script.

Vardy was released by Sheffield Wednesday at the age of 16 and this could have marked the end of his professional career. However, through sheer passion, he has carved his own path to the hallowed grounds of professional football. It’s difficult not to admire this 29-year-old’s unrelenting rise to fame, regardless of your personal allegiance.

With his name plastered everywhere from shirts to crisp packets and possibly the dotted line at the bottom of an Arsenal contract, what can we learn from Jamie’s journey that we can apply to our everyday thinking at work?


Confidence is key. Vardy could have easily settled for a career in anything other than football after his knock back from Sheffield Wednesday and few would have blamed him. Instead with confidence in himself and his abilities he managed to survive the knock to his ego and continued forward.

Think about this next time you are disappointed with a result at work. It’s up to you to decide how you move forward…

A Vision

Even with an abundance of confidence, Jamie would undoubtedly still be playing non-league if that’s where he saw himself. You can’t walk into an international spot and it’s just as true that you won’t walk into that dream job or promotion.

A vision of where you want to be will be the deciding factor on just how high you climb.


Vardy is a grafter on the pitch, and it’s likely that this dedication saw his vision come to fruition. Taking opportunities is the core responsibility of any striker, however not many work as hard for the team as Jamie does. Applying pressure to defenders and putting his body on the line when it really counts. It’s this tenacity that has really cemented his position as England’s most talked about striker.

Dedication is important in every role; it doesn’t matter if it’s your first day or you’re the CEO, if you focus on the big picture you will become a vital asset in the success of your team.

You can look at any successful person and they will have these traits amongst others. I think the last thing that we can learn from this creation of a superstar at 29 years old, is that it’s never too late to chase your goals.

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