Football London

Jamie Vardy run ended but his exploits will be ever-lasting for grassroots dreamers

It was hardly a shock to see Swansea comfortably lose to Leicester. The fact that Jamie Vardy fell short of equalling Jimmy Dunne’s top-flight record, during the 1931-32 campaign, of 12 goals in 12 successive matches was the big surprise.

Vardy is still a hero in Playfinder‘s eyes and he got us thinking about other players that have climbed through the ranks to be the best. His journey from Stocksbridge Park Steels to top goal-scorer in the Premier League has been an inspiration to grassroots footballers everywhere.

Here are some other inspirational stories and remember each of these started at the bottom, so what’s stopping you! Check out your nearest football pitches in London here.

Hero to Zero

Charlie Austin (Poole Town FC)

Turned up from nowhere to bag 48 goals in 42 appearances that led Swindon to take a chance on him before moving onto Burnley and QPR.

Les Ferdinand (Southall FC)

‘Sir’ Les began life at Southall and then Hayes where he was snapped up by QPR. His career highlights came at Newcastle where he won the PFA player of the season award.

Stuart Pearce (Wealdstone)

Pearce jumped from Non-League club Wealdstone to high-flying Coventry in 1983. He blossomed into a powerful leader that made headlines for Nottingham Forest and England.

Vinnie Jones (Wealdstone)

Jones balanced his fledgling football career by also working as a hod-carrier on building sites. He made his name at Wimbledon, Leeds and Sheffield United and then even made the big time in Hollywood.

Kevin Phillips (Baldock Town)

Phillips was constantly told he was too small to be a striker and ended up switching to right-back for a time at Baldock Town. His chance came when joining Watford and later Sunderland where he bagged 30 goals in his first Premiership campaign.

Each of these players battled adversity to carve out careers at the highest level and shows anyone can do it with the right application. Check out to find and book your closest football pitch and aim for the stars.