Watford and Leicester City’s Championship play-off tie in May 2013 is one that lives long in the memory.
An astonishing finish to the second leg saw Leicester, with the tie poised at 2-2, awarded a penalty in the seventh minute of stoppage-time at Vicarage Road.
Manuel Almunia saved Anthony Knockaert’s spot-kick and Watford went straight up the other end to score through Troy Deeney and book a place at Wembley, where they would go on to lose against Crystal Palace.
The finish to the match is still regularly replayed, but there were three players involved in the match that day not making headlines. Fewer than three years ago, Danny Drinkwater, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy were pictured in the same game sitting on the away substitutes’ bench.
Last week, the photo of the trio sitting glumly behind then-manager Nigel Pearson emerged on social media. Kane, then on loan from Tottenham, and Drinkwater eventually got on for around half an hour, while Vardy was an unused substitute in his side’s most important game of the season.
How times have changed.
— Jamie Vardy (@vardy7) March 26, 2016
Kane has netted 42 Premier League goals in the last two seasons and is competing for the Golden Boot with Vardy, who beat Ruud van Nistelrooy’s goal record for netting in 11 consecutive top-flight matches this season.
The two both scored impressive strikes against world champions Germany on Saturday, while Drinkwater – a key cog in Leicester’s shock bid to win the Premier League – is expected to make his England debut against Netherlands on Tuesday.
Vardy revealed the sudden change in his fortunes has not been lost on him despite his rise to stardom.
“I have seen the photo — it is crazy isn’t it?” the Leicester attacker told reporters.
“What a difference a couple of years make. Every day, when I have a bit of time alone, I think about the journey I have been on.
“The goal against Germany was definitely the highlight of my career so far, but I have still got plenty of time left so hopefully there will be more.”
Kane also could not believe the rapid change in his fortunes, with he and Vardy near certainties to be named in their country’s squad for Euro 2016 when Roy Hodgson makes his selection almost exactly three years on from when the image was taken in May.
“Me and Danny Drinkwater were having a joke and he showed me a picture of us three sitting there as we played at Watford,” said the Spurs striker.
“It is crazy. Football is a funny game and it can change quickly. It shows what hard work and dedication can do.
“We have come a long way, but it does not stop here as we have a lot of hard work to do to keep progressing and moving forward.”