Sheffield’s Jamie Vardy handed England call-up

Jamie Vardy in action for Leicester against Newcastle
Jamie Vardy in action for Leicester against Newcastle
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Sheffield-born striker Jamie Vardy has been named in the England squad for matches against Republic of Ireland and Slovenia next month.

Leicester City forward Vardy – a former Sheffield Wednesday trainee – has been handed his first call-up by Roy Hodgson after helping the Foxes to Premier League survival this season.

Dronfield’s Gary Cahill is also in the squad along with former Sheffield United defender Phil Jagielka.

The call-up continues Vardy’s rapid rise to prominence. Just three years ago he was playing non-league football for Fleetwood Town and five years ago was with Stocksbridge Park Steels.

READ MORE From Park Steels to the Premier League - the rise and rise of Jamie Vardy

The 28-year-old scored in Leicester’s famous 5-3 win over Manchester United in September but then went six months without scoring before reaching form at the crucial time for Leicester, scoring three times in his last nine games to help the Foxes complete their unlikely escape from relegation.

He joins Charlie Austin and Tom Heaton as uncapped players in Hodgson’s latest squad.

Austin has scored 17 goals for QPR this season while keeper Heaton has performed well for Burnley this term even though they were relegated from the top flight two weeks ago

They now have a chance to make their international debuts in the friendly against the Republic of Ireland on June 7 or the Euro 2016 qualifier in Slovenia seven days later.

Former Owls loanee Ross Barkley and ex-Doncaster Rovers loanee Ryan Mason are also in the squad.

Goalkeepers: Rob Green (Queens Park Rangers), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley),

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Ryan Mason (Tottenham), James Milner (Manchester City), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Forwards: Charlie Austin (Queens Park Rangers), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester) Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).