Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

The Voice's Roger Samuels: Palace is my home team!

26 February 2019

While for football fans, Saturday nights may be preserved for Match of the Day and heading home from any late kick-offs, for many it's all about one thing: The Voice.

Running since 2012, The Voice is a talent show that plucks gifted, previously unheard of singers and gives them a platform under the guidance of four well-known judges.

While it may or may not have captured your eye before, this year Palace fans will want to pay attention to the progression of one contestant in particular, Roger Samuels: an astonishing singer and certified Eagles fan.

"I grew up in Brixton," the 43-year-old gospel singer explained to Palace TV. "Growing up, I always liked Crystal Palace. You had the famous footballers like Ian Wright so Palace were always one of the teams we wanted to try to get down to see if we could get into the football team.

"We used to come down to watch games and school would take us down here to watch some games at times. They were good games, I remember Palace playing Everton and Liverpool one time. Crystal Palace was the local team, it was our team, our home team. We saw a lot of matches around 13 to 14-years-old."

But it went beyond just the stands for Samuels, who, aged 15, was snapped up by the Palace Academy where his dream of becoming a professional footballer would last for three years.

He elaborated, saying: "I got in when I was 15, my teacher had connections with a lot of academy teams. There was a team called South London and they went to all different schools, took out various players and set us up with various academy teams. Some of my friends went to Tottenham, some to Arsenal and I went to Palace.

"The training ground was in Dulwich. We’d train there and then come here [Selhurst Park] once every month. I was a striker, I was a real good goalscorer. You put that ball in front of me and I’ll get that goal in! But I’ve put some weight on now...

"I never got to play in the first team but I had dreams [of doing so]. I’ve always had a love for football."

Today, however, Samuels has tapped into a different passion, one that has brought him firmly into the public eye and given him a career for life.

He continued: "After I came out of football, I started to work in barbering and estate agent work but it was really boring and I never found my heart there. I really wanted to play football. I tried to do some coaching with a local team that we had in Brixton. The determination wasn’t there and I ended up saying, ‘you know what? I love music now.’

"I started playing the keyboard, started to learn the piano and I started to produce some tracks. From there, I started to be a singer. I wasn’t really making money, I was more helping out the local church and the community. My father was a pastor - he was a reverend - he had a church and he had a choir. I said, let me give my time and my talent and what I can do and help out the church.

"So we built a small choir, we started to do local community projects; singing out in Brixton Market, going to youth clubs with the choir. Then I started to venture that way until I got into full-time signing. I was doing weddings, festivals, birthday parties and a lot of stuff in the church."

It is only in his older years that Samuels has been showcasing his talented voice, though, because as a youngster playing football at every chance, his skills were kept somewhat secret...

"I knew I had a voice but back then it was about tough, tough, tough football. I knew I had a voice though because I’d sing in the changing rooms and the boys would think, ‘who’s signing?’ and I’d shy off - I didn’t want them to hear. Then I did a bit of rapping because everyone likes a bit of rap... I can’t rap though!"

Now he doesn't shy away with his ability at all and Samuels is looking to continue his progression in The Voice, with a little help from the red and blue faithful.

"I’m really looking to get some good support from Palace fans because I’m a home-boy," he said. "It would be great to have all the support from the Palace fans and we can win this together!"

Samuels is set to perform in the Fanzone before the match tomorrow, so make sure you head down to watch him.

And for his full interview with Palace TV, where he discusses a very famous brother-in-law, his excitement for the game tomorrow and life in the Academy before giving a rendition of 'Footprints in the Sand' over the Selhurst PA, just click on the video below.

Advertisement block