Worried football fans have admitted they've been "brought to tears" listening to legendary pundit Chris Kamara as he battles apraxia of speech.
Kamara, 64, was a regular on Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday for 24 years but opted to leave the much-beloved weekly programme at the end of the 2012/22 season after coming to terms with an under-active thyroid. His condition, hypothyroidism, has left him battling apraxia of speech.
Sitting down with Dragons' Den entrepreneur Stephen Bartlett, on his Diary of a CEO podcast, the ex-Middlesbrough and Leeds United midfielder admitted that his diagnosis has left him feeling "like a fraud."
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"I feel a fraud now in terms of broadcasting," revealed Kamara, fighting back his emotions. "I don’t bring to the table what I used to. So that’s hard, my life away from the screen couldn’t be any better. Grandkids, family, it’s perfect.
"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."
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The heart-breaking admission has seen football fans rally around Kamara, offering nothing but love and support for the iconic presenter. "Death and taxes are 2 guarantees in life, the unofficial 3rd is that everyone has nothing but love for you, you're not a fraud, commented one supporter.
"True legend on the TV and off, my mate said he had a beer with you in Paddington station and said you were as much a gem off-screen."
A second said: "One of the funniest and most charismatic football players and commentators there has been, you were never a fraud and never will be." A third posted: "A legend of sports broadcasting. No two ways about it, Jeff."
However, fans were also taken aback by Kamara's raw honesty. "I’m crying at this preview, let alone when I actually listen to the podcast," harked one fan after watching Bartlett's 90-second podcast snippet, posted on Twitter.
"This brought tears to my eyes," admitted another.
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