Chris Kamara has lifted the lid on his battle with apraxia after confirming he is suffering from the speaking condition last weekend.
Kamara, 64, revealed he has developed apraxia after viewers of the Sky Sports show expressed concern over his ‘slurred speech’ when giving updates from the League One clash between Rotherham and Shrewsbury.
The Soccer Saturday legend received an outpouring of supportive messages on Twitter after opening up on his diagnosis, with fans, colleagues and sporting figures sending their best wishes.
‘It was incredible,’ he said. ‘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?’
Chris Kamara has provided an update on his battle with speech condition apraxia
The Soccer Saturday legend revealed he has developed apraxia of speech last weekend
Presenter Ben Shepard then said: ‘You sound great this morning mate and you sharing this I know is really important.’
Kamara replied: ‘It’s difficult Ben because it’s 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.’
After fans raised their concerns with his speech last weekend, Kamara initially took to Twitter to update them on his condition.
He also announced his plans to step back from live TV reporting after developing the condition
Kamara told fans he is working on getting his speech back to normal and hopes he can beat it
WHAT IS APRAXIA OF SPEECH?
Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult to speak.
This disorder can make saying the right sounds and words very difficult and can be observed as slurring.
It is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control how muscles move, leading to apraxia of speech.
‘Just wanted to let a few of you know who tweeted me today that I am ok-ish,’ he wrote.
‘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!’
Messages of support have been pouring in for Kamara on social media, with fans branding him a ‘legend’ and wishing him all the best in his battle with apraxia.
One wrote on Twitter: ‘Get well soon Kammy, you’re doing fab lad.’
Another put: ‘We all love you so much @chris_kammy. You got this’.
A third commented: ‘True legend Kammy, your (sic) bring true charisma to everything you do, your (sic) a legend in Middlesbrough, all the best’.
A fourth posted: ‘You are an inspiration to so many people. Take care Kammy.’
While another said: ‘Get well soon Kammy your are a legend’.
Personalities from the sporting world have also paid tribute to Kamara.
Soccer Saturday presenter Jeff Stelling, who is well known for his double act with Kamara on the show, said: ‘You still bring life, energy, fun and understanding to all your reports on Soccer Saturday. We all love you pal. Keep going!’
Sky Sports football presenter Kelly Cates commented: ‘You’ve got this Kammy,’ while Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher posted two heart emojis.
David Jones, also a presenter on Sky Sports, described Kamara as a hero.
He said: ‘You’re a hero to me and so many others Kammy sending love.’
Olympic gold medallist and TV presenter Sam Quek also wrote: ‘All the best Chris – you got this.’
Kamara has worked with Sky for over two decades after a lengthy playing career and managerial spells with Bradford and Stoke City.
He is best known for his excitable nature when delivering reports from stadiums on Soccer Saturday, along with his unusual sayings and gaffes.
His most iconic moment came when he failed to realise that Anthony Vanden Borre had been sent off in a clash with Portsmouth and Blackburn in 2010.
Kamara tweeted on Monday morning confirming he will take a back seat for the time being
Sporting personalities and well-wishers have flooded him with messages of support