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Chris Kamara Bravely Opens Up Speech Condition: 'People Are Looking And Thinking, 'Is He Alright? Is He Drunk?'

Jack Kenmare

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Chris Kamara Bravely Opens Up Speech Condition: 'People Are Looking And Thinking, 'Is He Alright? Is He Drunk?'

Chris Kamara has bravely opened up about his battle with apraxia of speech.

Last weekend, fan favourite 'Kammy' was covering Saturday's League One clash between Rotherham and Shrewsbury when viewers picked up on his 'slurred speech' on commentary.

After receiving multiple messages from concerned fans following his appearance on Gillette Soccer Saturday, the former Brentford and Portsmouth defender posted an update about his health on social media.

Kamara confirmed he is suffering from apraxia of speech - a neurological disorder that 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.

In an interview with Good Morning Britain on Friday morning, the 64-year-old spoke in depth about the condition - and said the stream of supportive messages on social media has been "incredible."

"Today is a good day. Today I think I'm fine, I don't know how I sound. But it seems as if I'm ok," Kamara began in the chat with GMB.

"But on Saturday I was doing a report for Sky at Rotherham and unbeknown to me, because I'm not really sure about how it comes out, because if I explain my apraxia, we take for granted the fact that when we think and coming through our speech it's comfortable, it's easy, it's natural.

'My apraxia, because it varies in different people, when it's bad it stops those signals from that brain going to that mouth, so it slows it down. In fact, at times it slurs the words as well. So people are looking and thinking, 'Is he alright? Is he drunk?'"

Ben Shepherd, who co-presented Goals on Sunday with Kamara for many years, noted that his decision to speak out about his condition sends a "really important" message.

"It's difficult Ben because it's neurological problem, we don't know, the experts don't know," Kamara added.

"The brain is such a complex part of you that it's hard to say whether it is the thyroid that's brought this on, will it get better in time?

"I'm trying to use parts of my brain now that allows me to speak fluently. So I'm with a speech therapist and I'm with another therapist who's trying his best, so it's quite incredible really."

Kamara's social media update on his health received an incredible response from fans around the world, with several work colleagues showing their support online.

Jeff Stelling wrote: "You still bring life, energy, fun and understanding to all your reports on Soccer Saturday. We all love you pal. Keep going," while Kelly Cates commented: "You've got this Kammy."

Jamie Carragher also showed his support, as did Monday Night Football presenter David Jones, who said: "You're a hero to me and so many others Kammy, sending love."


Featured Image Credit: Good Morning Britain

Topics: Sky, Chris Kamara

Jack Kenmare
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