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What is Apraxia? Chris Kamara tearfully opens up over health battle


Sep 13, 2022

Chris Kamara has opened up about his battle with apraxia, which he says has made him feel like "a fraud" as a broadcaster.

The former footballer and Sky Sports broadcaster revealed in March that he had developed apraxia of speech, alongside an existing thyroid issue.

Whilst he left Sky Sports at the end of last season, the 64-year-old continues to complete other TV presenting work.

Kamara was appearing on Steven Bartlett’s Diary of a CEO podcast when he was asked the question of how apraxia was affecting him.

He replied: “Strange in terms of I feel a fraud now in terms of broadcasting – I don’t bring to the table what I used to. So that’s hard.


The untold heartbreaking story of a football legend. Chris Kamara x The Diary of a CEO out now ❤️

♬ original sound – Steven Bartlett

“I feel I’m doing these programmes and they’re not getting the best of me, but they’re tolerating me. That’s how it feels.

“My life away from the screen couldn’t be any better – grandkids, family, it’s perfect.”

He added that his experience of apraxia is that “it feels like someone is taking over my voice box”.

“The voice that used to come out would come out at 300 miles per hour – you’ve seen me on the results and Soccer Saturday, motor mouth, not even waiting for a breath, just keep going…Now when I hear myself or see myself on TV, it’s someone else. It’s strange, it’s really strange," he said.

“Some days the message from the brain to the mouth is really slow, which makes it difficult, or some days the words come out different to what you’re trying to say, and that’s even weirder. That’s been hard to accept, and still hard to accept.

“It consumes your mind, or it has done, mine – every day I wake up and the first thing I think is ‘am I going to be able to talk today?'”

At the moment Kamara is undergoing various treatments for the condition.

Chris Kamara thanks fans for support following opening up about apraxia

The clip of Kamara discussing his issues with apraxia was shared widely on Twitter yesterday (Monday, September 12), which brought an outpouring of support.

Kamara shared a message on social media, thanking people for the kind messages, saying: "It was a pleasure to speak to @SteveBartlettSC Diary of a CEO podcast. It was only recorded last Friday so yesterday really took me by surprise.

"I can’t respond to everyone, but many thanks to all for the support and messages, which haven’t gone unnoticed – I’m very grateful."

What is Apraxia? Signs and symptoms

According to the NHS East Sussex Healthcare site, apraxia of speech is a "speech disorder in which a person has trouble pronouncing words correctly and consistently".

It is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that are involved in speaking, and involves the loss or impairment of existing speech abilities.

Symptoms may vary between people depending on how severe the condition is, but include:

  • Struggling to pronounce words correctly
  • Being able to say a word correctly one minute, but not the next
  • Having more difficulties with the beginning of words
  • Having more problem with longer words than shorter words
  • Being aware of their mistakes but often be unable to correct them
  • Speaking more slowly
  • Being better at ‘automatic’ speech tasks such as counting and singing