Chris Kamara is a former British football player, manager, pundit, and TV presenter best known as the charming broadcaster of Soccer Saturday.
What is Chris Kamara’s illness? In March 2022, the football legend announced that he was suffering from apraxia of speech (AOS) after viewers expressed concern over his slurred speech during Soccer Saturday.
In April, the player-turned-manager decided to retire from his 24-year-long Soccer Saturday journey with Sky Sports due to his health condition.
Chris Kamara’s illness, apraxia of speech, is a neurological motor disorder that affects an individual’s ability to speak correctly. Therefore, it is difficult for Kamara to form sentences and voice his thoughts aloud.
Although the former player has stepped away from broadcasting, he has not entirely called quits on his career and will be seen now and then on the TV screens for BBC and ITV.
Chris Kamara Illness: Football Pundit Was In Denial For 20 Months About His Illness
The 64-year-old pundit initially could not come to terms with his speech deformity.
In an interview with the Mail, he said, “I did not want to accept it, but I’m no fool. Twitter, family, colleagues, when they’re all saying, “Are you all right? What’s the matter with you?” Eventually, you think, “I’m going to have to face this.”
Since the footballer player is a beloved media personality, he could not continue hiding the illness.
In February 2022, the former manager was presented with the Personality of the Year award by the Football Writers’ Association. The audience thought that Kamara sounded drunk while giving his acceptance speech.
The broadcaster felt a “brain fog” and underwent a brain scan to rule out dementia. Kamara speculated the illness was due to heading the ball while playing football.
However, it was later revealed he was suffering from speech apraxia alongside underactive thyroid disease.
The TV presenter’s therapist encouraged him to accept the medical condition instead of remaining in denial. After a good 20 months, Kamara finally accepted his disorder and began working on recovery.
Chris Kamara Feels Like A Fraud As A Presenter Following His Apraxia Diagnosis
The legendary football player revealed that he “felt like a fraud” in Steven Bartletts’s podcast The Diary of a CEO.
Although many channels like BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5 offered the charismatic presenter to stay and continue work, Chris felt like an imposter as he “couldn’t bring much to the table any longer” or give desirable results.
The former midfielder is worried that he will not be able to give his hundred percent to the fans and viewers.
Kamara considered stepping away from broadcasting entirely as the football pundit felt his speech impairment could do more harm than good.
In the podcast, he said, “I feel I’m doing these programs, and they’re not getting the best of me, but they’re tolerating me; that’s how it feels.”
Following this statement, fans and viewers showed outpouring support for the former football player.
Middlesbrough fans rolled out a banner that read “You’re not a fraud, you’re unbelievable Kammy” during a Saturday match against Rotherham.
Overwhelmed with so much love, the Middlesbrough-born and raised TV presenter took to Twitter to thank fans, saying, “Wow, that is ‘Unbelievable Jeff’ (his famous catchphrase). Thank You.”
The star pundit hopes to potentially recover from apraxia and fully return to his broadcasting career. Kamara was recently introduced to one of the best neurologists in the States and is hopeful of being cured.
Last week in September, the 64-year-old returned to the TV screens to co-host Ninja Warrior UK. Additionally, he will continue to present Channel 5’s Cash in the Attic.
The former Soccer Saturday presenter will be seen in the BBC podcast, Kammy and Ben’s Proper Football Podcast, alongside Good Morning Britain’s host Ben Shephard.
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