London - Leicester City capped a memorable day on Saturday by announcing that
star striker Jamie Vardy has extended his contract by one year until
"I'm absolutely delighted to be fighting to achieve
something special with this club," Vardy said in comments published on
the club website.
"I've never known a spirit like it - from the
owners, to the manager and his staff, the players and the fans. I want
to be part of it for a long time."
Vardy, 29, played a key role as
Leicester stunned Manchester City 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium earlier on
Saturday to open up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League
Along with Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez, the indefatigable
Vardy has become a symbol of Leicester's rise from the foot of the table
to the summit over the past 12 months.
Signed from non-league
Fleetwood Town for $1.4 million in 2012,
he is the Premier League's top scorer with 18 goals and has become a
regular member of Roy Hodgson's England squad.
"Leicester City have shown nothing but total faith in me since the day I
arrived here three and a half years ago and it's impossible to measure
how much that belief has helped me to improve.
"I'll forever be grateful for the investment the club has made in me and I'll spend every day working to repay it."
manager Claudio Ranieri said: "Jamie is a fighter. He has had an
unbelievable journey to get to this point in his career and continues to
play every game as if it's his last.
"I love his spirit, which is
a quality I want in my players above all else. He has shown what a
fantastic player he is and, more importantly, he is part of a fantastic
"I am very happy that he will stay with us for a long time."
scored 16 goals as Leicester were promoted as Championship champions in
2014 and found the net five times in his first season as a top-flight
It was enough to earn him international recognition and he
made his England debut in a goalless friendly against the Republic of
Ireland in Dublin in June 2015. He has since won three further caps.
ignominious build-up to the current campaign saw Vardy forced to issue
an apology after being caught on camera abusively calling a man of east
Asian appearance 'Jap' in a casino.
But on the pitch he has been a
revelation and in November he set a new Premier League record by
scoring for the 11th game running in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United.