Football Football

Vardy lookalike invited as players celebrate title triumph with pizza and beer

Vardy (left), with a drink in hand, poses for a photograph with his lookalike Lee Chapman who joined him briefly on the coach.
Vardy (left), with a drink in hand, poses for a photograph with his lookalike Lee Chapman who joined him briefly on the coach.

LONDON, May 4 – Leicester’s players continued their title celebrations in training and then enjoyed a lunch at an Italian restaurant on Tuesday after Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea confirmed them as Premier League champions.

Claudio Ranieri’s men watched the action unfold at Jamie Vardy’s house on Monday night, with some members of the squad partying until 4.30am in the city centre.

But despite their late-night celebrations, the first-team joined their manager at the club’s Belvoir Drive base to prepare for Saturday’s game with Everton, and enjoy their success a little more.

The team then travelled by coach to Leicester City centre to enjoy a lunch at Italian restaurant San Carlo, with hundreds of fans gathered outside as they arrived.

The team’s coach journey briefly came to a halt as they welcomed Vardy lookalike Lee Chapman on board for a few photographs.

Claudio Ranieri's men are celebrating winning the Premier League title with two games to spare after Tottenham's draw at Chelsea
Claudio Ranieri’s men are celebrating winning the Premier League title with two games to spare after Tottenham’s draw at Chelsea

Handed banners with ‘Champions 2015-16’ written on them at training in the morning, captain Wes Morgan and Co chanted ‘champione, champione, ole, ole, ole’ as they jumped around on the turf.

“I feel good, you can imagine,” Ranieri told reporters as he drove into the club’s training complex. “(Last night I was) at home to watch the (Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur) match.

“I had lunch with my mother and then I come back with our plane and I arrived 7pm and 8pm I watched the match. No, not yet (I haven’t spoken to the players).”

“The job is good. I very, very happier now, because maybe if I won this title at the beginning of my career, now I forgot. No, now am I very, very old man and then I can feel much better.

“The emotion was at the maximum level. I told every time I’m very happy for the fans, for the chairman, for everybody, for all the Leicester community.”


Ranieri flew back into East Midlands Airport on Monday night after celebrating his mother’s 96th birthday in Rome.

The former Juventus boss returned on a Sh 6.3 billion (£43million) jet with Foxes executive director Supornthip Choungrangsee and wasted no time in getting back to work after watching Tottenham’s draw with Chelsea on television.

Ranieri holds a blue boot with the words 'Champions 15-16' on it after returning from Italy on Monday night
Ranieri holds a blue boot with the words ‘Champions 15-16’ on it after returning from Italy on Monday night

Asked about Leicester’s achievement in an interview with Sky Sports New HQ, Ranieri said: “It’s fantastic. I want to say thank you to all the lads behind me [the players] and the supporters. It was unbelievable because we wanted to do something special. It was an amazing season for us. I was at home with my wife last night, nothing more.”

“I have been speaking to my family in Rome and that was it. In my mind I always believed I wanted to win a title, I didn’t know where but I wanted to win something.”

“And I always believed I could win something. I believed last night that Tottenham could still win it, of course you feel something but I am a pragmatic man.

N’Golo Kante, Danny Drinkwater and Andy King were among the players spotted arriving at training, less than 24 hours after celebrating their historic triumph at Jamie Vardy’s house.

Drinkwater, who left Manchester United in 2012, admits this season has been ‘bonkers’ after helping his side defy odds of 5000-1 to claim their maiden top-tier title.

He told Sky Sports News HQ: ‘We’ve won the Championship, now the Prem, it’s bonkers.

“I’ll be looking back at this for years. It’s something I’ll be able to tell my kids about. I’m happy that my family have got to feel this about. It’s hard to put into words about what it’s going to do for this club. It doesn’t sound right does it, but we’ve done it!”

The entire squad gathered to watch Eden Hazard’s late goal hand them the title, sparking scenes of joy in Vardy’s home, which he shares with fiancee Rebekah Nicholson.

Morgan was filmed being dragged around the floor, while the likes of Christian Fuchs Riyad Mahrez, Danny Simpson and Leonardo Ulloa celebrated wildly after clinching victory with two games to go.

Asked about the celebrations in Melton Mowbray, Morgan said: ‘Unbelievable scenes, the boys were jumping up and down. Standing on furniture. I hope Vardy’s house is alright!

“I can’t quite believe it. Looking at the start of the season, I never thought I would be in this position right now. The journey we’ve come on has been fantastic and will go down in history. It’s an achievement that might never happen again.”

Many of the club’s players left Vardy’s late on Monday night before heading to Club Republic in Leicester city centre. There they were greeted and congratulated by jubilant supporters before heading home in the early hours looking a little worse for wear.

The nightclub wrote on its Facebook page: ‘Just had a phone call from some lad called Jamie booking a big booth for tonight! Come join him & his mates at Republic tonight! We’re open until 3.30am! ‪#‎JamieVardyHavingaParty’

Among those pictured out on the town were Morgan, striker Leonardo Ulloa, defenders Danny Simpson and Robert Huth, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, England international Drinkwater and Ghanaian winger Jeffrey Schlupp.

The Foxes host Everton in their last home game of the season on Saturday, before Ranieri visits his former club Chelsea on the final day.

-By Daily Mail-