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Chris Kamara bravely opens up on apraxia diagnosis in emotional interview

Daniel Marland

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Chris Kamara bravely opens up on apraxia diagnosis in emotional interview

Chris Kamara has revealed his apraxia of speech diagnosis makes him feel like someone else controls his voice box in an emotional and revealing interview.

The legendary broadcaster announced he was suffering from the neurological condition in March after Soccer Saturday viewers noticed his slurred speech. Apraxia affects pathways in the brain that are used when trying to talk.

Kamara decided in April he would step away from Sky Sports altogether at the end of the season after 30 years with the company.

He still takes television work, but recently opened up on the challenges his condition brings on 'The Diary of a CEO' podcast.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

"It feels like someone has taken over my voice box," Kamara admitted.

"The voice that used to come out would come out at 300 miles an hour, you've seen me on the results and Soccer Saturday, motormouth, talking and not even waiting for a breath, just keep going and going.

"Now when I hear myself or see myself on TV it’s someone else. It’s really strange.

"Some days the message from the brain to the mouth is really slow and makes it difficult, or some days the words come out different than what you’re trying to say and that’s even weirder. So that’s been hard to accept, and [is] still hard to accept."

The former Premier League midfielder is famous for his infectious positivity and iconic catchphrases, including 'Unbelievable Jeff!' when chatting with Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling.

Kamara went on to admit he considered walking away from TV altogether after battling anxiety related to his performance.

"I have to say, I was going to quit everything - literally every single bit of TV - at the end of last season," he continued.

"It was an acceptance, really, because what I said to my wife is if I wasn't a broadcaster it wouldn't matter, would it. She said 'yeah', so I said now's the time. I've had a great time.

"I spoke to my agent Simon, said I'm getting out of all this and he said 'yeah, you can, I’ll leave it up to you'. So I thought 'that's it, I’ve done my time'. I’d like to thank all the people who have been persistent and said a 25 per cent Kammy is still better than some people."

The 64-year-old currently hosts 'Kammy & Ben’s Proper Football Podcast' on the BBC with close friend Ben Shepard, who he previously presented 'Goals on Sunday' with. He also hosts Ninja Warrior UK on ITV.

Featured Image Credit: The Diary Of A CEO/YouTube

Topics: Chris Kamara

Daniel Marland
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