Chris Kamara says he contemplated suicide after condition forced him to quit live TV
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Chris Kamara has emotionally revealed that he contemplated suicide after being diagnosed with apraxia of speech in 2021.
The rare neurological disorder causes difficulty in carrying out planned movements, including conversational speech tasks.
It results in the person having difficulty in saying what they want to say correctly and consistently, and affects the brain pathways used to plan the sequence of movements involved in producing speech.
"In fact, at times it slurs the words as well. So people are looking and thinking, 'Is he alright? Is he drunk?'
The Swindon Town legend stepped down from his role on Soccer Saturday after 24 years last April, and received an outpouring of tributes.
Kamara has been having speech therapy treatment to overcome the condition, having had to pull out of other TV roles in the past year.
He was awarded an MBE last year for services to football, charity and anti-racism.
Now, in his new book titled 'Kammy', the Soccer Saturday icon has opened up on the difficulties of dealing with his apraxia of speech disorder - and explained how he had contemplated suicide at one point.
He explained (quotes via Daily Mirror): "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'."
Speaking to Good Morning Britain in July, the 65-year-old gave a positive update on his recovery and revealed when he hopes to be back on TV.
He said: "It's getting better. I've been having some experimental treatment and it's working.
"By the way the treatment is going, hopefully I'll be back by Christmas."
For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details.