Chris Kamara: My commentating became ‘car crash TV’ after speech disorder
Football pundit Chris ‘Kammy’ Kamara, whose enthusiastic commentary, legendary gaffes and riotous laughter has endeared him to millions, is reflecting on how his life has changed since developing apraxia of speech, a rare neurological disorder that slows down his speech and thought processes.
Today, the affable commentator and former professional footballer and manager, who left Soccer Saturday in 2022 after 24 years with Sky Sports, speaks slowly, working to find the words that once came so naturally, becoming emotional when he recalls descending into the depths of despair as he became unable to engage in his trademark quick-fire banter and enthusiastic football chat with fellow presenters.
A post shared by Chris Kamara (@chris_kammy)
“In the beginning I hardly slept, I was so worried about my speech. Tomorrow, would I be able to talk, would I be able to have some quick wit, off the top of my head? Slowly but surely that went away. I couldn’t perform. I couldn’t speak with spontaneity, tell jokes and have a laugh, be my own self,” he recalls.
“It was so hard for me to do a report on something that had come naturally. The excitement, the enjoyment of watching a football match and relaying that to the public all of a sudden became car crash TV.
“People were looking at me thinking, ‘Oh my God, Kammy, have you been drinking, have you had a stroke?’”
A post shared by Ben Shephard (@benshephardofficial)
He admits he was in denial for 18 months before his diagnosis two years ago, even though he was clearly having problems at work, and his family – wife Anne and sons Ben and Jack – had noticed a change.
“I was stupidly ashamed of my condition,” he says candidly. “So I would like to apologise to every single person who has a