‘I feel like a cheat…these programs tolerate me’: Chris Kamara visibly struggles with his speech apraxia which forced him to quit his job as an analyst at Sky Sports and says he doesn’t like to look at himself television
- Broadcaster Chris Kamara has opened up about his debilitating battle with apraxia
- The former footballer and Sky Sports pundit had speech problems
- His condition has caused him to take a step back from his role on the pitch with Sky
- Kamara revealed that speech problems made him feel like a ‘crook’
Chris Kamara has established himself as one of football’s most beloved and famous sports broadcasters, but called himself a ‘fraud’ when discussing his apraxia diagnosis.
The 64-year-old most famous for his professional playing career and his years on the pitch as part of the Soccer Saturday football team has opened up about his condition.
Apraxia is a poorly understood neurological condition that affects the body’s ability to perform natural motor functions, with many patients developing speech problems.
Kamara was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid last year and walked away from the majority of his broadcast roles due to the issue.
Opening up about his battle with his health, Kamara said his speech issues made him feel like a “cheat” and admits he was considering walking away from any broadcast work.
Chris Kamara called himself a ‘fraud’ after his battle with apraxia
The 64-year-old had to step back from the majority of his roles due to his speech impediment
WHAT IS SPEECH APRAXIA?
Speech apraxia is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult to speak.
This disorder can make it very difficult to pronounce the right sounds and words and can be observed as slurging.
It is caused by damage to parts of the brain that control how muscles move, resulting in apraxia of speech.
“Strange in terms of, I feel a fraud now in terms of broadcasting; I don’t bring to the table what I used to do,’ Kamara told the Diary of a CEO podcast.
‘So it’s hard, my life away from the screen couldn’t be better. Grandchildren, family, it’s perfect.
“I feel like I’m doing these programs and they’re not getting the best out of me, but they’re tolerating me, that’s how I feel.”
“So I think maybe I should have bowed out, taken the accolades and said ‘thank you’. Am I tarnishing what I have and what I had?
As a player, Kamara was best known for his exploits at Swindon Town, Leeds, and his boyhood club Middlesborough for which he made five appearances during a loan spell in the twilight of his playing career.
A tough midfielder, Kammy retired from professional play in 1995 before embarking on a relatively short managerial tenure.
Originally taking the reins at Bradford City, he went on to manage Stoke in 1998 before stepping down to focus on his broadcasting career.
In 1999, Kamara landed a place on Sky’s popular Soccer Saturday show and it was in this role that he became one of the nations favorite sports presenters.
In a role that often demands the utmost professionalism, Kamara provided a sense of humility that endeared him to football fans across all teams.
His signature catchphrase of “The Amazing Jeff” quickly became his most recognizable asset as Kamara increased his airplay stock, leading to him becoming the face of other shows.
The broadcaster went on to explain how humbled he was for Sky’s touching tribute following his exit earlier in the year after deciding to step down from his live role, admitting sending the company was an experience special.
‘This tribute that Sky gave me, it’s reserved for someone who dies, isn’t it? So I got the tribute while I’m still alive that people don’t get when they leave.
“You’ll always look back and think, when you read obituaries and comments and think, ‘why didn’t people say that? “said Kamara.
The Middlesbrough-born presenter left Sky due to live broadcast demands but continued to work for ITV on a number of pre-recorded TV shows.
Kamara has struggled to overcome his speech issues and recently returned to the screens to co-host The Games and Ninja Warrior UK.
The former footballer and Sky Sports pundit (right) has returned to hosting Ninja Warrior UK
“I feel a fraud”: Chris Kamara visibly struggles with his speech apraxia