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Nine Years Ago Today, Chris Kamara Missed Anthony Vanden Borre’s Sending Off At Fratton Park

Nine Years Ago Today, Chris Kamara Missed Anthony Vanden Borre’s Sending Off At Fratton Park

"I DON'T KNOW JEFF!" On 3 April 2010, Jeff Stelling went to Chris Kamara for his Gillette Soccer Saturday update on the Portsmouth-Blackburn game and the greatest moment in the show's history.

'Kammy', who has only ever been in the Soccer Saturday studio on two occasions since 2002, normally has little dialogue with the producers during his live reporting unless something goes wrong.

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Nine years ago today at Fratton Park, that is exactly what happened when he completely missed Anthony Vanden Borre's second yellow and subsequent dismissal on the hour mark.

The priceless moment has been viewed millions of times on YouTube and Kammy's explanation of how it came to happen is just brilliant. It includes being told moved by healthy and safety stewards on a number of occasions and having an obstructed view as a result.

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"In my career, in terms of my TV career and Soccer Saturday, that is the defining moment because it could have so easily went the other way," he told SPORTbible.

"But it went the right way and thankfully it did because it's been watched over 10 million times on YouTube and to this day, people still never get tired of seeing it.

"I got to Fratton Park at quarter to twelve that day I think it was and the cameraman who was doing Soccer Saturday that day came to me and said, 'We've just been told by the safety steward that we're not allowed in the gantry'.

"I went round to see the safety guy and the gantry at Portsmouth - because there's a gap which is probably only about three foot wide but you have to step over it - and if you're carrying equipment and you slip you might fall through the hole.

"The health and safety people got hold of this and said, 'The only people allowed in the gantry today is the commentator and the co-commentator, you're going to have to do your updates from the corner of the Fratton end'.

"I know the Fratton end well because obviously I played there on two occasions so it wasn't a problem - there are a few grounds where you might get some fun and banter when we're off camera but Portsmouth wasn't going to be one of them because I still get on really well with their supporters - I knew they would be in full acceptance of me being in there.

"So we went down there and health and safety showed us where we had to go with the camera and it was by the corner flag. I still had a reasonable view of the game and then about 14:15 it started to rain.

"Another health and safety officer came and said, 'Because you've got a monitor, if anyone from the Fratton end or the other side down the touchline decides to leave the ground and they come over and touch your equipment, they might get electrocuted'.

"Cameraman says it's totally impossible but this health and safety officer wouldn't have it so we had to move another five to six yards back under the roof so we weren't actually in the rain. It was ok but all it did was narrow my view of the game.

"While the game was going on and I wasn't getting my link from Carly (production coordinator and daughter of Dave Bassett) I could stand by the corner flag and watch the game. As soon as I was doing the link I had to walk ten yards back to where the corner was.

"Carly says, 'Jeff's about to come to you, there's a couple before you and then it's you'. I go back to the camera position and I'm watching this monitor - most of them are six inches by four inches - so they're not like a proper television screen and you're not getting a great view but you can still see the game and make out what's happening.

"Just as I'm next there's a big shout in the studio by Charlie Nicholas and it's 'GOAAAAAL! so we won't be going to Fratton Park, we'll be going where there's been a goal. Charlie does his report and in the meantime I'm looking over my shoulder at the game, with a restricted view it's better than the view on the monitor and Carly says 'You're next, don't worry!'. Jeff does another, 'There's been a goal!' at Cheltenham or somewhere like that and then just as he's about to come to me Tommo shouts, 'GOAAAAL!'.

"I've looked over my shoulder and Carly's said, 'Definitely you are next'. In the meantime, Jeff has obviously got the teleprinter in front of him and says, 'Let's go down to Chris Kamara at Fratton Park, where there's been a sending off but for who?'

"And that's when it dawned on me that I haven't seen a sending off at all, so the famous line was, 'Sending off? I must have missed that, Jeff'. And he goes, 'Kammy are you not watching? I am, now come and tell us what's happened'. And I just went, 'I don't know Jeff!'.

"The lads are obviously laughing in the studio and he [Jeff] goes, 'Kammy, according to our sources Anthony Vanden Borre's been sent off for a second bookable offence, get your fingers out and count the number of players on the pitch!'.

"Just then it dawned on me that I'd seen Anthony Vanden Borre walking across to the pitch where Avram Grant [Portsmouth manager] was but what happened was he deliberately handled the ball but didn't wait for the second yellow card - as soon as he did the handball he just walked towards the touchline. I wasn't the only one in the ground that didn't know he'd been sent off.

"Immediately the director, a woman called Karen Wilmington, came on the line and went, 'Watch the game will you, that's what you're being paid for!'. I went, 'Sorry Karen but I didn't see him get sent off'. That was it, I worried about it even though the lads were having a giggle in the studio and on the way home I phoned the producer, Ian Condron, to apologise and he went, 'You can just about get away with it' because it's you'.

Unbelievable, Jeff.

Topics: Football News, Football, Soccer Saturday, Jeff Stelling, Chris Kamara, Portsmouth

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

 

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