FOOTBALL or singing was the dilemma faced by Bexley’s X Factor superstar Sam Bailey.
After wowing judges last weekend, the former Cleeve Park and Bexley Performing Arts school student, 35, will perform Adele’s Make You Feel My Love in front of the judges tomorrow night.
Mother-of-two Sam, a prison officer at HMP Gartree in Leicestershire, grew up in Eynsford Road, Bexley Village, and her mum Jackie says singing is just one of her daughter’s talents.
Mrs Bailey, who lives in Blackfen, told News Shopper how Sam used to play football throughout her youth and continued to do so until she had her first child.
The 62-year-old said: “You know when you kick a ball up behind you and flick it over your head? She used to do all that sort of thing.
“When she was 11 she complained to the teachers at St Mary and St Joseph's Catholic School, Sidcup, they didn’t have a girls’ football team.
“Eventually she got her way and they got one together and when she was older, possibly about 14 or 15, she did actually take a group of youngsters to a field near Rectory Lane and she coached these youngsters football.
“Nine times out of ten you would see Sam in her football kit or football tracksuit.”
Mrs Bailey added: “I said to Sam it has got to be football or singing – you cannot go on stage with a broken arm or a broken leg.”
But as she grew up, Sam’s musical talents started to shine through and she learnt to play the drums, keyboard and piano.
Mrs Bailey says she first heard her daughter sing when she bought her a karaoke machine at the age of 14.
The researcher said: “She just locked herself in her bedroom on this karaoke machine and all of a sudden this voice came out the blue.
“She used to play Whitney and then Maria Carey and she would record herself and play it back and be her own worst critic.
“When she was younger and had school friends that liked her singing, they used to get her to sing up at the commons club in Sidcup.
“They loved her voice so much they used to take the hat round for some pocket money for Sam.”
Mrs Bailey says contact with Sam has been limited since the whirlwind of the live shows came around but she knows her daughter “is just enjoying every moment” of time in the contestant’s London-based house.
She said: “I think mummy mode is kicking in.
“She is being a mum to all of them and doing the washing and the cleaning.
“The others leave the bathroom in a mess and she’s just saying ‘boys will be boys.’”
And looking ahead to coming live shows, Mrs Bailey knows Sam, who was born in Bromley, has more to offer.
She added: “The good thing about it is so far people have only heard her do ballads but she can actually sing a lot of styles.
“She has got one of those voices that she can adapt.”
Watch Sam on ITV at 8pm tomorrow – and remember to vote for her to keep her in the competition.
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