Everyone knows that Bexley-born X Factor winner Sam Bailey knows her way around a stage, but not many people know that she played football for years.
The prison officer-turned-singing sensation, who is expecting her third child later this year, was restricted to a managerial role at the celebrity tournament Soccer Six at The Valley on Sunday but relished the chance to be back in south east London.
Vibe took the chance to catch up with her to talk about Soccer Six, getting back her childhood home, her career and the World Cup.
How are you finding today?
It’s nice. I’ve never done one of these before. Unfortunately I’m not playing (she’s quite pregnant).
It’s not fair, I want to play! I played for 14 years so it is my nature to be a bit upset. But I’m here and I’m having fun and I’ll get to cheer on my team when they play.
Is it nice to be back in south east London?
Yeah, there were a few landmarks on the way down. It has been 20-odd years since I lived down here so it was nice to be able to see a few landmarks and stuff.
I’m quite happy to be here.
Will you get the chance to visit Bexley while you’re back?
I will be going to see my mum next week and staying with her. I go to Bexleyheath all the time.
That’s the place I go shopping with my mum.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve had a few weeks off, which is nice. I’m going away next week on holiday. I can’t fly after that so I have to go early and I have got some awards I’m going to and balls, then I’ve got the festivals in the summer.
It’s all going alright.
Let’s talk about the World Cup. How do you think England are going to do?
After looking at the line up, I’m glad that he’s thinking outside the box by getting some new, fresh talent in.
I think that’s what it needs. It need new legs and people that are hungry for it, not someone that has played for England several times before and is like ‘yeah, yeah, I’m playing for England again’.
You need someone that is going to get given that opportunity and take it with both hands, and that’s what he’s done, slightly. I could have picked a few players myself...
Who would you have picked?
I would have had a Leicester player, obviously. I would have picked Jamie Vardy. He’s like a pitbull – get him on the pitch and he’s going to fight until the bitter end.
You need players like that. Hopefully Roy Hodgson has got that fire in a lot of his player and it is going to work out.
Who do you think is going to win?
I think Portugal. I don’t know why. I’ve got Portugal in my head but when I look at some of the people that play for Portugal, I think they are going to do well.
You can never tell, I get these things wrong all the time because I’m only a girl!
Have you got any superstitions for when you’re supporting?
I always put a flag outside my house. I know it’s proper corny, but I do.
Where are you going to be watching the games?
Wherever I can. The first one I think I’ll be at Alton Towers. I’ll have one eye open but I think I’ll be absolutely shattered.
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