Leicester City vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has said that star striker Jamie Vardy regularly used to turn up at training sessions still inebriated from the night before.
While Srivaddhanaprabha made abundantly clear this is no longer the case, he attributed Vardy’s heavy drinking in the early days of his time at Leicester to his inability to cope with his 2012 move to the Midlands from then-Conference outfit Fleetwood Town.
The Thai businessman’s claim serves as yet another reminder of the rags-to-riches story of Vardy, who it appears has gone from drunkard playing non-league football to talisman of a Premier League-winning side in the space of four years.
“Back then, I think [Vardy] didn’t even have what it took to play in the Premier League,” Srivaddhanaprabha told Thailand’s ‘A Day’ magazine.
“The day we bought him, he came to me and thanked me for changing his life. He had never had this much money so he was over the moon already. 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 know about this until someone told me that he came to train while he was still drunk. So I went talk to him myself, I asked: ‘Do you wish to end your career like this? Do you want to stay here 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? How do you think your life should be? Just think carefully about what would you do for the club. I invested in you, do you have to do something in return?’
“After that he simply quit drinking and started working hard in training. His physicality wasn’t as good as it is now. We know he had explosive acceleration, but we simply had no idea he could be this good.
“He’s adapting, working on fitness training, he’s turned into a new person. And that’s better.”
Report by Gazetta World