I feel I have a lot to offer Chipstead, says Urban Rap Artist Mr Rootsy

Wednesday 01st October 2014
URBAN rap artist Mr Rootsy is aiming to hit the high notes in the NRG Gym Kent County League Premier as Chipstead’s assistant-manager.

Known by his stage name London Roots, AKA Mr Rootsy, the 30-year-old who now lives in Bromley, is an UK Award Nominated urban rapper, singer and recording artist.

He reached the final 20 on XFactor in 2012 where his track “What Will Be Will be”, which was written in tribute to his good friend that sadly passed away in early 2012, was performed at the O2 Arena in London in front of a 5,000 crowd and in front of judges Gary Barlow, Nicole Sherzinger, Tuilsa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh.

He received three “Yes’s” from the judges and a huge response from the crowd, making him the first rapper to reach the Bootcamp stage on the show.

It’s not every day that a music celebrity contacts www.kentishfootball.co.uk requesting an interview!

It seems that the rapper, speaking under his real name Lee Roots, has lead an amazing life both in football and the music industry.

His father, Kelvin Roots, was an ex-pro at Leeds United, Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur and managed many sides.

His uncle, Chris was at Croydon FC for many years.

He has toured with So Solid Crew, an English garage and hip-hop group whose origins are from Battersea.

In 2012 he performed his music in front of Take That star Garry Barlow on XFactor and is aiming to guide Chipstead Football Club off the foot of the NRG Gym Kent County League Premier Division alongside manager Robin Manuel.

“I have a football mad family,” said Lee Roots, speaking under his real name.

“My earliest memories is being pitch side watching my father, uncles, brothers and cousins all playing football.  All of which have now moved into management.

“As a youngster I had trials at Portsmouth, as well as many other clubs but found myself struggling with match day travels.

“Years later, I was then brought into the semi-pro Kent League club Holmesdale, by Ken Thurgood (RIP) and spent many successful seasons with the club.

“After having spent a few years at Oakley Road, I found myself looking for a new challenge and after discussions with clubs, I decided to happily sign for Chipstead.

“I was initially attracted to the club by the fantastic home facilities, pitch, changing room and also the ethos of how the whole club is run from head to toe by chairman Alan Black.

“After becoming first team club captain, leading Chipstead to two Cup Finals and gaining promotion into the Kent County League Premier, I unfortunately left Chipstead to progress my football to a higher level and joined Chatham Town in the Ryman League.

“After a few seasons and unfortunately suffering hamstring and back injuries, I made the decision to focus away from playing and put all my efforts and passions into now being a manager, which is something I’ve always been very keen to do.

“I had discussions with Farnborough Old Boys Guild and Holmedale’s under 21’s about managing there this season but discussions didn’t materialise but I wish both club’s success.

“After then speaking to Chipstead’s chairman Alan Black and being informed that the club had a whole new management team this season and was looking for an assistant/joint-manager to join alongside Robin Manuel, it was a fit made in heaven and I was over the moon to be asked by them both to sign back to the club as a major part of the management staff after their second game of this season.”

Roots says that football is his first passion, closely followed by music.

He said: “Mr Rootsy AKA London Roots is my musical ego!”

“I have always been very interested in music. From learning all the instruments I could when I was at school, to writing and composing music.

“I was very lucky a few years back after lots and lots of years and hard work, I got a small break within the industry.

“Since then I have been lucky to feature on a few TV shows, supported some fantastic acts on tour (like So Solid Crew) and been able to visit cities around the world performing. It really has been a blessing and something I treasure.”

When asked how he combines both of his passions, Roots replied: “For years I would play on a Saturday away at clubs like Dover and would always be rushing back down the motorway to make it back for pirate radio shows or live gigs.

“It was always very difficult to mix the two. The main thing for me was that I was being involved within my two biggest passions.

“Football is such a major part of my life, no more than music is, but I think the key for me, which is why I’ve been able to make it work, is making sure I dedicate time for each activity.  When its music, its music. When its training, or a match, it’s game time. Nothing else matters. My mindset is right.”

Mitcham-born Roots has also played for and managed Charlton Athletic Community and has represented the county many times for the Kent County League Representative side.

He said: “After doing my intensive coaching badges years’ ago, I always felt management would be a perfect fit for me and that I would be more successful as a manager than I ever would have been as a player due to my will to win and drive to succeed.”

When asked how his music career is treated by the players at the near-Sevenoaks based club, a modest Roots replied: “I think they don’t mind really. I’ve never ever spoken to the lads about it or mentioned it really.

“A few of the lads turn up to training sometimes and say they’ve heard a few of the songs and had no idea. It’s always best to surprise people in life I suppose!”

Chipstead are at home to Sittingbourne-based side Borden Village on Saturday.

Chipstead are sitting at the bottom of the league table having lost all five games, while Borden Village are immediately above them with three points to their name.

Roots said: “It’s a massive game. They have been struggling so far like us.  A win for either club is just what the doctor’s ordered right now.

“We must start picking up wins and results.

“For me, home games are crucial to how a season will go for a club. We take pride in who we are and the facilities we provide.

“But no club will ever be able to come to Chipstead and have an easy game. They will all know that they will be in for a tough game.  I think Saturday we may surprise a few people.”

Roots says he has ambitions to rise up the football pyramid, which will bring him extra exposure, especially considering his celebrity status in the music industry.

“Yes I do, very much so.  The same aspirations I had as a player and the same mentality everyone should have when applying themselves to anything.

“I want to take my management as high as I possibly can. I feel I have a lot to offer.

“Being assistant/joint-manager with Robin this year will allow me to constantly learn and improve.

“I feel I have good tactical sense when approaching a game and during a game and can adapt when needed and have the personal man management skills that is so key and crucial to being a successful manager at any standard.

“Not all players can be managed the same. The best managers are those who can get the best out of every single player, not just a few players.”

For more details on Mr Rootsy visit:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:MrRootsy

Visit Chipstead’s website: www.chipsteadfc.org.uk

Chipstead v Borden Village
NRG Gym Kent County League Premier
Saturday 4th October 2014
Kick Off 2:45pm
at Chipstead Recreation Ground, Chevening Road, Chipstead, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 2SA