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‘I feel a fraud’: Chris Kamara visibly struggles with his speech apraxia

‘I feel a fraud… these programmes are tolerating me’: Chris Kamara visibly struggles with his speech apraxia that forced him to quit his Sky Sports analyst job and says he dislikes watching himself on TV

  • Broadcaster Chris Kamara has opened up on his debilitating battle with apraxia
  • The former footballer and Sky Sports pundit has struggled with speech issues
  • His condition saw him step back from his around-the-grounds role with Sky
  • Kamara has revealed that speech problems have left him feeling like a ‘fraud’ 

Chris Kamara has established himself as one of football’s best loved and most celebrated sports broadcasters, but has labelled himself as a ‘fraud’ when discussing his apraxia diagnosis.

The 64-year-old most famous for his professional playing career and years spent around the grounds as part of Soccer Saturday’s football round-up team has opened up on his condition.

Apraxia is a little-understood neurological condition that affects the body’s ability to perform natural motor functions, with many sufferers developing problems with speech.

Kamara was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid last year and has stepped away from the majority of his broadcasting roles due to the issue.

Opening up on his battle with his health, Kamara said that his speech problems have made him feel like a ‘fraud’ and admits he considered stepping away from all broadcasting work.

Chris Kamara has labelled himself as feeling like a ‘fraud’ following his battle with apraxia

The 64-year-old had to step back from the majority of his roles due to his speech condition

The 64-year-old had to step back from the majority of his roles due to his speech condition

WHAT IS APRAXIA OF SPEECH? 

Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult to speak. 

This disorder can make saying the right sounds and words very difficult and can be observed as slurring.

It is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control how muscles move, leading to 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,’ Kamara told the Diary of a CEO podcast.

‘So that’s hard, my life away from the screen couldn’t be any better. Grandkids, family, it’s perfect.

‘I feel I’m doing these programmes and they’re not getting the best of me, but they’re tolerating me, that’s how it feels.’

‘So I think maybe I should have bowed out then, taken the accolades and said, ‘thank you’. Am I tarnishing what I’ve got and what I had?’ 

As a player Kamara was best known for his exploits at Swindon Town, Leeds, and his boyhood club of Middlesborough who he made five appearances for during a loan spell in the twilight years of his playing career.

A tough-tackling midfielder, Kammy retired from the professional game in 1995 before embarking on a relatively short managerial stint.

Originally taking over the reigns at Bradford City, he went on to manage Stoke in 1998 before quitting to focus on his broadcasting career. 

In 1999 Kamara landed himself a spot on Sky’s popular scores-round up show Soccer Saturday and it was in this role that he became one of the nations favourite sports presenters.

In a role that often requires upmost professionalism, Kamara provided a sense of humility that endeared him to football fans of all teams.

His iconic catchphrase of ‘unbelievable Jeff’ quickly became his most recognisable asset as Kamara increased his broadcasting stock that lead to him becoming the face of other shows. 

The former footballer and Sky Sports pundit (right) has returned to hosting Ninja Warrior UK

The broadcaster went on to outline how humbled he was for the touching tribute put together by Sky following his exit earlier in the year after he decided to quit his live role, admitting the company send-off was a special experience.

‘That tribute that Sky gave me, that’s reserved for someone who passes away isn’t it? So I’ve had the tribute while I’m still alive that people don’t get when they go. 

‘You’ll always look back and think, when you read the obituaries and comments and think, “why didn’t people say that?”, said Kamara.

Kamara decided to leave his role matchday role at Sky Sports after struggling with his speech

Kamara decided to leave his role matchday role at Sky Sports after struggling with his speech

The Middlesbrough-born presenter quit Sky due to the demands of live broadcasting but has continued working for ITV on a number of pre-recorded television shows.

Kamara has fought to overcome his speech issues and recently returned to screens to co-host The Games and Ninja Warrior UK. 

Fans originally became concerned for the pundit when they noticed he was slurring some of his words when reporting live from matches, with Kamara eventually revealing that he had been dealing with the issue for two years.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk