DOB: 26 January 1976
From: Central Districts/Adelaide, traded for 2001 Draft selection #56
Number: 19 (2002-2004)
Games: 41 (137 total)
Goals: 56 (206 total)
Vardy played an outstanding season in 1997 but missed the grand final due to a shoulder injury before going one better the next year in a season where he kicked 44 goals. Further groin injuries hurt him over the next few years and he was traded to Melbourne at the end of 2001. He had first been linked to a Melbourne club the year before but had rejected a trade to St Kilda as part of the deal which took Leigh Colbert from Geelong to North Melbourne.
Recruited by the Demons at the end of 2001, Vardy spent most of his first summer on a modified program after undergoing more groin surgery. Despite carrying an achilles injury through his first season in Melbourne, Vardy proved a handy target up front for the Demons in 2002, with 39 goals in 21 games including five in the Elimination Final win. It was revealed that he had been forced to visit an equine hospital during the year to receive an ankle treatment more commonly used on horses.
At the end of that year he had surgery on the troublesome Achilles, and suffered complications when it became infected three times. On the last occasion he had to be reoperated on. Finally recovered from his Achilles troubles he was making a comeback with Sandringham when he suffered more groin problems. He managed just nine games for five goals before being sent for season ending surgery.
He managed 11 games in 2004, and almost single handedly won a game in terrible conditions against Fremantle in round 11, but was forced to retire at the end of that year. He said, "I'd love to continue to play football with Melbourne but my body just won't allow me to do so. It would be unfair to my team mates and the Melbourne Football Club if I was to continue on, and I would not like to let them down in that manner."