Former Portsmouth, Stoke, Leeds and Bradford favourite Chris Kamara reveals heartbreaking reason behind slowed speech during latest Soccer Saturday appearance

Former Pompey defender Chris Kamara has revealed he has developed apraxia of speech after a number of fans reached out to him following his latest appearance on Soccer Saturday.

By Mark McMahon
Sunday, 20th March 2022, 10:03 am
Updated Sunday, 20th March 2022, 10:05 am

The 64-year-old was fulfilling his normal brief as one of Sky Sports’ match-day correspondents as he reported back from Rotherham’s League One home game against Shrewsbury from the New York Stadium.

However, concerns were raised by Kammy’s speech, which was notably slower than the usual energetic way he delivers his enthusiastic updates of the action.

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And he was back on the social media platform on Saturday – this time to provide an update on his health.

The popular former Royal Navy man, who was diagnosed with a thyroid condition last year, said he was ‘okish’ as he worked hard to hopefully beat his latest diagnosis.

Kamara said: ‘Just wanted to let a few of you know who tweeted me today that I am ok ish.

‘Alongside my Thyroid problem I have developed Apraxia of Speech & have been working to get my speech back to normal.

Former Pompey defender and now Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

‘Some days it can be a little slow and some days it’s normal. Hopefully I can beat this!’

Apraxia of speech (AOS) is a speech disorder in which someone has trouble speaking.

A person with AOS knows what they'd like to say, but has difficulty getting their lips, jaw or tongue to move in the proper way to say it.

Since making his condition known to the public via Twitter, the former Fratton Park defender has received thousands of messages wishing good health.

Among those to reach are Soccer Saturday presenter, Jeff Shreeves, who commented: ‘@chris_kammy you still bring life, energy, fun and understanding to all your reports on Soccer Saturday. We all love you pal. Keep going!’.

Fellow ex-Pompey player turned Sky pundit, Jamie O’Hara, said: ‘Big love kammy, we will see you soon for sure’.

Sky Sports Premier League presenter, David Jones, wrote: ‘You’re a hero to me and so many others Kammy sending love’.

Meanwhile, former Arsenal and England defender Viv Anderson replied by saying: ‘If anyone can beat this it’s you Kam, all of my best wishes to you and your family’.

Kamara started his playing career at Fratton Park, making 84 appearances and scoring 10 goals between 1974 and 1977 and later in 1981.