Broadcaster Chris Kamara has revealed that even experts are unsure whether his speech will improve. The former Premier League star and broadcasting legend admitted his condition leaves him looking “drunk”.
Kamara revealed he is suffering from apraxia of speech after Soccer Saturday viewers noticed a difference in his voice last weekend, the Mirror reports. The 64-year-old, who is set to leave Soccer Saturday at the end of the season, is determined to “beat” the condition and continue his media career. The former midfielder has appeared on countless TV shows during the last two decades, including Emmerdale.
Kamara made nearly 800 professional appearances during his playing career for Portsmouth, Swindon, Brentford, Stoke, Leeds, Luton, Sheffield United, Middlesbrough and Bradford. He went on to manage Bradford and Stoke, with his last role ending in 1998.
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“It was incredible, today’s a good day,” Kamara told Good Morning Britain on Friday, the Mirror reports. “Today I think I’m fine. I don’t know how I sound but it seems as if I’m OK.
“I’m not really sure about how it comes out because if I explain my Apraxia, it’s like 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 when it’s bad stops those signals from the brain going to the 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? ‘
“So when I put out the message after Soccer Saturday, I never in a million years expected that response. But everyone has been so brilliant, so kind. People have got in touch who I haven’t spoken to for 30 years to wish me well.”
Good Morning Britain presenter Ben Shephard – who previously hosted Goals on Sunday with Kamara – told his former colleague: “You sound great this morning mate and you sharing this I know is really important.” To which Kamara replied: “It’s difficult Ben because it’s a neurological problem, we don’t know, the experts don’t know.
“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?” Kamara revealed his condition on Saturday evening after concerned fans asked him if he was OK.
The football legend was covering Rotherham’s League One game against Shrewsbury, which ended in a surprise 3-0 defeat for the hosts. “Just wanted to let a few of you know who tweeted me today that I am ok-ish,” Kamara tweeted.
“Alongside my Thyroid problem I have developed Apraxia of Speech & have been working to get my speech back to normal. Some days it can be a little slow and some days it’s normal. Hopefully I can beat this!”
Kamara has received dozens of supportive messages since his revelation. “Kammy you still bring life, energy, fun and understanding to all of your reports on Soccer Saturday,” tweeted Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling. “We all love you pal, keep going!”