Lee Camp Interview (part 2): ‘I am not a Derby fan!’
Part two of our exclusive interview with Lee Camp (read part 1 here) is based around questions from our forum members and gives Lee the chance to put an end to some of the stories about him: Is he a Derby fan with a tattoo on his arm to declare his love for the Rams? Who is the best player in a Forest shirt this season? And of course, we finally reveal which book he would read on Jackanory.
Do you get any stick from our locally born players for being a Derby fan?
No, it’s a massive myth. I’m not a Derby fan. I’m a Manchester United fan, my dad’s a Manchester United fan. I only went to watch Derby because they were my local team and my dad used to work on Saturdays so my Auntie and Uncle used to look after me. My Uncle was a season ticket holder at Derby (as are a lot of my family because they are Derby fans) so it was either go and watch football with my Uncle or go shopping with my Auntie so I went to the football. When Derby weren’t at home we would go and watch Belper Town or other teams. We just liked watching football.
So everyone just assumes I’m a Derby fan. I’m a local boy and you can’t take that away and playing for your local club is special, but anyone who knows me from the age of eight will know that I used to wear a Man Utd top or a Peter Schmeichel goalkeeper top. I suppose if my Auntie and Uncle lived in Nottingham I would have probably come to watch Forest, but it was just a logistical thing.
So I take it from that you don’t actually have a big Derby tattoo on your arm like the Derby fans claim you have?
No, another myth.
Who is better, Smith or Camp?
Smith! Well some people will say me, others will say Smudge. I suppose you can say it’s the manager’s decision that counts and whoever gets the shirt is playing well. I think my performances have probably spoken for themselves but I’m fully aware that if I’m not doing it then I won’t be in the team as you have seen with other players and I’m no exception.
Have you started to dream about playing for England yet?
No, my opinion has never changed since I was first asked the question. I think the shirt is up for grabs and there are probably three or four who are in with a chance. If the other night was any indication then it looks like Robert Green might have pole position, but if maybe David James had played a few more games recently then would he have played.
I certainly don’t see myself as one of those challenging for it.
If we go up this season and stay up, you must be in with a chance by the time the next World Cup is upon us?
I think you have to be performing well in the Premier League, there are goalkeepers who are performing well who aren’t even getting a mention – Chris Kirkland he is playing very well who, with the greatest respect, is in one of the weaker sides in the Premier League and he never gets a mention, so I think that kind of answers the question of where it puts me in the rankings.
Do you read press coverage of the team or internet forums?
Do you think the current team would be capable of surviving in the Premiership?
We’ve got to get there first. The positive thing is we have performed well against the sides that have come down from the Premier League and in both cups. We were the better side against Blackburn and we were the better side in both games against Birmingham. I think we can take a lot of encouragement from that. Maybe just playing at that level more regularly and a bit more experience, what we did learn against Birmingham was that we have to take our chances or we will get punished
Was the team disappointed to lose at Birmingham? The team wasn’t the strongest with a number of the fringe or back-up players getting a starting place…
We were still the better side, they scored and shut up shop and that says a lot about what they thought of us. As it turns out that was our first defeat in our current run of defeats.
Robbie Savage: Discuss!
Don’t care, no interest in him. In certain ways he is probably very much like myself. He kind of likes his own opinion, he is pretty forthright in his opinion, but he is what he is and seems pretty happy with his life. Who cares? It’s his life. Don’t know what else to say to be honest.
But I will say I think he could have controlled his players better on both occasions involving us. As captain of the football club he could have controlled them better, in my honest opinion and I did say that to him at Pride Park. That is only my opinion, no one else’s and I said that to him on the pitch.
If you were a guest reader on Jackanory, what book would you read?
What a question! I know one book off by heart but I can’t remember what it’s called, it’s a show on Cbeebies, I’ll have to come back to that one.
If you had the opportunity to play in an outfield position, what would it be?
Striker, so easy. I’ll tell you a true story as well last year, when I was at QPR, I broke my finger – that is another reason why I couldn’t play – and I couldn’t do any handling of the ball so I was training with the outfield players and I was the best striker, I scored the most goals and was the best finisher.
Who do you think our best player is?
I suppose from looking in you would have to say someone like Raddy for his ball control, but I think people like McKenna and Cohen, certainly Cohen, are real unsung heroes. The example McKenna has brought to some of the younger players both on and off the field has been vital but Cohen is just an unsung hero of mine, absolutely fantastic. He’s played left back and been as good as anyone in the league, played right wing as a left footer, brilliant. Centre midfield, eight out of 10. Left wing seven/eight out of 10, he’s just one of those players. Someone once told me that good players can play anywhere and he’s an eight out of 10 every week, whatever position.
Is your Facebook profile really you?
No, I have no Facebook, no MySpace no nothing.
What is behind your pre-kick-off routine?
It’s just to clean the bottom of the boots so I don’t fall over, the mud gets so stuck to the bottom of the boots and it’s almost like walking on ice.
What would your celebration be if ever you scored a goal?
I certainly wouldn’t do an Earnie.
You’d probably do your Derby penalty save wouldn’t you?
Yeah probably, something that would probably upset someone. I’d probably laugh to be honest that I’d kept my composure to put it away. I’ve been trying to get involved in a few celebrations and I’ve been running down but it gets a bit trying running back and forth so I’ll just keep waving to the Trent End.
If you weren’t a footballer, what do you think you’d be?
If you’d of asked me when I left school it would have been something to do with sport, maybe coaching, but as I’ve got older it would probably be something more business orientated not to do with sport.
And finally if anybody is still reading this, the book that Lee would read if he was on Jackanory is Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. (This is the show you couldn’t remember, Lee, although you have probably had to watch it lots since I asked the question!)
That was the final question and I survived my first visit to the City Ground Press Room!
Many Thanks to Fraser Nicholson for sorting it all out for us and of course to Lee for agreeing to come along and answer some questions from the fans. Hopefully we have been able to set the record straight on a few things.