Viewers in tears as Chris Kamara shares heartbreaking battle with rare speech condition
| Last updated
Chris Kamara was overcome with emotional on Thursday morning as he discussed his ongoing battle with apraxia of speech and how it made him feel "ashamed".
The 65-year-old former Soccer Saturday broadcaster, who is affectionately known as 'Kammy', was diagnosed with the neurological disorder in 2022.
Apraxia of speech affects the brain pathways involved in planning the sequence of movements involved in producing speech.
The brain knows what it wants to say, but cannot properly plan and sequence the required speech sound movements.
Speaking to Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid, he said: “I went to see a brain specialist and I was only in there for two minutes and he said, ‘You’ve got Apraxia of Speech’, where the connection between the brain and mouth breaks down and you can’t say the words.
“Your mouth can’t control itself. The words come out very slowly.
“I thought that defined me. So my apologies to everyone out with there with a speech condition, because it doesn’t define who you are.”
The former Portsmouth, Swindon and Brentford defender then began to tear up after admitting he was “ashamed" he couldn’t speak.
“I get upset talking about it, because I was in denial,” he added.
Kamara was comforted by presenter Susanna Reid, who said: “You have got nothing to be ashamed of. Just let me take your hand. You have done so much to inspire other people.”
Kamara, who announced he would step away from his Sky Sports duties at the end of the 2022/23 season following a 25-year run, recently revealed that he contemplated suicide after being diagnosed with Apraxia.
in his new book titled 'Kammy', the national treasure said: "I worried about where I was going to end up. Would my physical and neurological deterioration just keep going and going? And I worried more about the effect it would have on those around me.
"I'm a man who has always wanted to help, to provide, to love and nurture those around me. And now I could only see myself as a burden. A shell of a man I used to be that they would be left to look after.
"Seeing myself like that was like staring into an abyss. I could never reconcile that image in my head. It was unthinkable. And it's at that point I'd think, 'They'd be better off without me'."
SPORTbible are on WhatsApp! We've launched a dedicated news channel to send you the latest news, features and plenty more directly on WhatsApp and all you need to do to sign up is click through to our one-way broadcast channel here for 'SPORTbible News' to appear in the 'Updates' tab on your WhatsApp.