Chris Kamara: illness explained, what is speech apraxia, when is Kammy leaving Sky Sports, health - net worth

Kamara will continue to appear on television screens despite leaving the Sky Sports studios

Chris Kamara, a 24-year veteran of Sky Sports, is leaving the broadcaster at the end of the 2021/22 football season.

“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,” Kamara said in a statement.

During this weekend’s (30 April) Soccer Saturday, Kamara's Sky Sports colleagues paid respect to his talents.

In addition to his roles on the pitch and in front of the camera, Kamara is also a singer who has released two Christmas albums and a charity single

But why is he leaving?

Here is everything you need to know about him.

Why is he leaving Sky Sports?

The 64-year-old presenter and former player recently revealed he has developed a speech apraxia disorder.

Kamara announced his diagnosis in March after causing worry with an appearance on Soccer Saturday during which he appeared to slur his sentences on camera.

Kamara said he had developed the speech disorder alongside an existing thyroid issue.

“Just wanted to let a few of you know who tweeted me today that I am ok ish,” he wrote on Twitter. “Alongside my Thyroid problem I have developed apraxia of speech and have been working to get my speech back to normal.”

(Photo: Getty Images)

Kamara said the public's response to his diagnosis had been "incredible," but physicians have been unable to predict if he will recover in time.

“Some days it can be a little slow, and some days it’s normal. Hopefully I can beat this!” he added.

The ex-sportsman hailed the response of friends and family, and said he was receiving treatment from a speech therapist in a bid to resolve the issue.

Kamara had previously undergone a brain scan to see if he was developing dementia after experiencing "brain fog," and was concerned that the condition could be linked to his long career heading the ball.

His symptoms, however, were caused by an underactive thyroid.

“Everyone has a favourite Kammy anecdote or highlight,” said Sky Sports director of football, Gary Hughes. “We’ve been so lucky to have him, and he will always be part of the Sky Sports football family.”

When will he be leaving?

Kamara will leave Sky Sports at the end of the 2021/22 football season.

“My time on Soccer AM, Goals on Sunday and, of course, on Soccer Saturday with Jeff has been – to coin a phrase – unbelievable,” he said.

“I’ve had the time of my life, and look forward to tuning in every Saturday as a fan.”

Is he retiring?

Chris Kamara celebrating Leeds United’s promotion to the 1st Division in 1990 (Photo: Radders/ Allsport/Getty Images)

Despite departing the Sky Sports studios, Kamara will still be popping up on plenty of television screens.

He has previously discussed the announcement that Ninja Warrior UK will return to ITV with a new format, hosted by himself, Ben Shephard of GMB, and Rochelle Humes.

The show will look for both a male and female champion for the first time.

Kamara will also be a pundit on ITV's upcoming series The Games, which sees 12 super-fit celebrities compete in a sporting spectacular across a week of live shows - it premieres in May 2022.

What is speech apraxia?

The Speech and Language Therapy Department of the NHS defines apraxia as “difficulty in carrying out planned movements”.

It explains that a person with apraxia may be able to carry out automatic movements, such as a yawn, but not planned movements, like opening their mouth when asked.

It goes on to say that “speaking involves a complex set of muscle movement patterns” and that “apraxia of speech is thought to be caused by a problem in the brain area responsible for planning these movements.

“Apraxia of speech can be extremely frustrating. The person usually knows what they want to say. When they try to say it, it may come out wrong or not come out at all. They may be able to say a word correctly one minute, but the next time it comes out all wrong.”

Conversational speech is frequently challenging for those with apraxia. They may, however, be good at 'automatic' speech activities like counting, swearing, repeating rhymes, greetings, and farewells.

Depending on the severity of the disorder, the symptoms of apraxia of speech can vary, but can 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 problems with longer words than shorter words
  • Being aware of your mistakes but often being unable to correct them
  • Speaking more slowly
  • Being better at “automatic” speech tasks, like counting and singing

What is Chris Kamara’s net worth?

According to celebritynetworth.com, Chris Kamara has an estimated net worth of around $20 million (£15.9 million).

However, other estimations are slightly more modest, and Kamara's net worth is estimated to be approximately £12 million by most sources.

His earnings during his playing days were a long way from what we're accustomed to in the 2020s, and the exact terms of his salary with Sky Sports remain unknown.

Fameranker.com on the other hand, estimates that Kamara has a net worth of $973,417 (£774,181) based on an estimated salary and an income of $333,349 (£265,120) he is estimated to have earned as a player.