Jamie Vardy would regularly attend Leicester training “still drunk” when he joined the club, according to their owner.
Vardy was voted FWA Footballer of the Year on Monday after a remarkable season in which he has scored 22 goals for Premier League champions Leicester.
The England international joined the Foxes from then-non-league Fleetwood Town in 2012 for £1million, with Leicester a Championship club at that point.
According to club owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, Vardy was so overwhelmed by the move that he would “start drinking booze every day”.
Srivaddhanaprabha added that Vardy would also turn up to training “still drunk,” and that it required a talk with the 29-year-old to curb his behaviour.
“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,” Srivaddhanaprabha told Thailand’s a day magazine.
“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? 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 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.”