Salford City striker Gareth Seddon wasn’t surprised to see former team-mate Jamie Vardy eclipse Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s Premier League goal-scoring record.
The Leicester City frontman netted for the 11th game in succession in the 24th minute of a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, latching on to Christian Fuchs’ assist to fire past David de Gea.
Just four seasons ago ‘Hapton Hitman’ Seddon, who has family in Padiham, partnered the England international in a front three at Fleetwood Town, which also included Tranmere Rovers’s Andy Mangan, as the Cod Army were crowned champions of the Conference.
Vardy scored 31 times in the league during the 2011/12 term to top the division’s goalscoring charts, earning him a seven-figure move to the Foxes that summer.
Seddon, who scored eight goals as Micky Mellon’s men gained promotion to the Football League, said: “I played with Vardy for the full season when we won the league.
“There was me, Vards and Andy Mangan. We were a front three and we ended up winning the Conference. Vardy scored something like 40 goals in total.
“He was unbelievable that season. I’ve had so many people ringing me up and asking me what it was like because me and Vardy are still friends now.
“We were friends outside football when we were at Fleetwood and we still speak to each other now.
“I rang him about getting in to the England squad and when he equalled the Premier League record. He’s flying and you could see that from when he came in.”
Vardy, who started his incredible run with an 86th spot kick in a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at the Goldsands Stadium in August, just days before being awarded his first cap for his country, added Aston Villa, Stoke City, Arsenal, Norwich City, Southampton, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Watford and Newcastle United to his list of victims.
The haul means that the 28-year-old can equal Jimmy Dunne’s record of scoring in 12 consecutive games - set in the 1930s for Sheffield United - when Claudio Ranieri’s side take on Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium at the weekend.
Seddon, who scored in the same fixture as Vardy on three occasions, said: “He was a skinny, scruffy lad and people were wondering why we’d paid so much money for him.
“But as soon as he played he was amazing and he was the fastest player I’ve ever seen.
“His finishing was great too and I’m glad he’s made it because he came from quite a hard background.
“I think that’s why everyone likes him because they can all relate to him. He’s given a new hope to everyone who is around 24/25 who hasn’t made it yet. He’s shown they can still make it.”
Seddon added: “At Fleetwood we had a lot of good players there. They were paying a lot of money so there was high expectations of getting in to the league. I didn’t have half the ability that he did.
“I don’t have tricks to beat a man, I’m not rapid, I can basically head the ball and score so when Vardy came in and we were winning every week and we won the league it was brilliant for me. It gave me that extra motivation to keep going.
“It’s even more important because you’ve got that connection with somebody. It’s somebody who I was mates with and I know exactly what he’s like.
“At the time he had a little girl who he was trying to do well for and now he’s got another little girl and a family.
“Just to see him build a life for them is good because I know that’s what he wanted to do most of all.”