Rubble to Riches – Making it to the English Premier League the Hard Way


Every year the English Premier League throws up a ‘fairy tale’ rise of one player from obscurity to football stardom and riches. Last season it was Rickie Lambert, the former Southampton striker who’d spent his career playing in the lower leagues. He finally got his chance to play in the top tier of English football and certainly grabbed it with both hands, earning a place in the England World Cup squad for Brazil 2014. The story that really grabbed attention around Lambert was the fact that at the start of his career he was working in a beetroot factory to supplement his low football wage.

This season, Jamie Vardy of Leicester City has grabbed the headlines with his sharp rise in three years, from Halifax Town in the Northern Premier League (sixth tier of English football) to the Premier League.

These kinds of stories certainly add a bit of colour to the league as a whole, but how many past and present Premier League players have worked their way up the hard way?

This infographic presents the players that worked in the construction industry before making it big. Unlike those pampered teens in the Chelsea and Manchester City academies, these guys had to get their hands dirty on building sites whilst playing part-time before getting their chance.

Rubble to Riches Making it to the English Premier League the Hard Way image Premier League Trade Shot Long

Click through to the interactive version and hover over each player card to get the details on their former occupation.

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