Chris Kamara leaving Sky Sports after 24 years as iconic presenter battles speech disorder

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Chris Kamara leaving Sky Sports after 24 years as iconic presenter battles speech disorder

Chris Kamara has confirmed he is leaving Sky Sports after 24 years at the end of the season. The iconic presenter, also known as 'Kammy', has worke

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Chris Kamara has confirmed he is leaving Sky Sports after 24 years at the end of the season. The iconic presenter, also known as ‘Kammy’, has worked on Soccer AM and Goals on Sunday but is best remembered for countless hilarious moments on Soccer Saturday and his catchphrase ‘unbelievable Jeff!’. Kamara’s departure comes a month after he confirmed he is suffering from apraxia of speech. 

The former footballer, 64, seemed to be slurring his words on a recent show and he tweeted to confirm he has developed a speech disorder alongside an existing thyroid problem. And one month on he has revealed that he will soon be departing Sky. Despite the condition, however, he will be a commentator on ITV show ‘The Games’ which airs on May 9.

“Some big news concerning this show and Sky Sports… and no I’ve not changed my mind [on retiring] again!” Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling said on the latest (April 30) show. “After 24 brilliant years at Sky Sports including many years as a star of this show, Chris Kamara is leaving the show at the end of the season. He leaves with the very best wishes of course of everybody here.”

In a statement, Kamara said: “My long career at Sky Sports has never felt like work. I’ve spent 24 terrific years at Sky, and leave with the best of memories. My time on Soccer AM, Goals on Sunday and, of course, on Soccer Saturday with Jeff has been – to coin a phrase – unbelievable.

“I’ve had the time of my life, and look forward to tuning in every Saturday as a fan.” Kamara added on Twitter: “After 24years at Sky Sports we have announced my departure. I have loved every minute and the memories will live with me forever. Working with Jeff & the boys has been Unbelievable! And the special days on Goals on Sunday with Ben Shephard who has become a great pal. I’ve had a blast!”

Sky Sports meanwhile said: “After 24 brilliant years at Sky Sports, including many years as a star of Soccer Saturday, Chris Kamara is leaving the show at the end of the season. The Soccer Saturday show paid tribute to him this afternoon, and he leaves with our thanks and very best wishes.”

Gary Hughes, Sky Sports’ Director of Football, insisted: “Kammy has been a Sky Sports star. Everyone has a favourite Kammy anecdote or highlight, and the tribute we paid to him on air this afternoon really shows the special place he has in the hearts of our viewers. We’ve been so lucky to have him, and he will always be part of the Sky Sports football family.”

On a recent appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Kamara said of his speech condition: “It was 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. 

“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?’  

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



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