Chris Kamara reveals he contemplated suicide as he struggled with health battle in heartbreaking revelations
CHRIS KAMARA says he contemplated suicide as he struggled in his health battle in a heartbreaking revelation.
The former footy star, 65, went on to become one of the most-loved pundits on the box.
He achieved legendary status working alongside Jeff Stelling on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday for three decades.
Kammy left his role on Sky Sports in 2022 after being diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, leaving him with a condition that affects his speech.
Kamara explained how he felt like a “fraud” following his apraxia of speech diagnosis – and like someone else is controlling his voice.
The ex-Swindon and Brentford midfielder has continued with some of his media work as the host of ITV’s Ninja Warrior UK and co-host of the BBC’s Proper Football podcast with Ben Shephard.
However, he has now revealed in his new book titled ‘Kammy’ how he had the darkest of thoughts at his lowest point and decided he did not want to be a burden on his wife Anne.
He writes his deepest thoughts and worries in the book, which is being serialised in the Daily Mirror.
Kamara wrote: “I’m going to admit something now, something I’ve never mentioned before. It’s hard for me to talk about, so bear with me.
“I worried about where I was going to end up. Would my physical and neurological deterioration just keep going and going? And I worried more about the effect it would have on those around me.
You’re Not Alone
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm
“I’m a man who has always wanted to help, to provide, to love and nurture those around me. And now I could only see myself as a burden. A shell of the man I used to be that they would be left to look after.
“Seeing myself like that was like staring into an abyss. I could never reconcile that image in my head. It was unthinkable.
“And it’s at that point I’d think, ‘They’d be better off without me.’”
He admitted that Gary Speed’s tragic suicide in 2011 then came into his mind, saying: “I thought of Gary Speed and then I thought of my own position – a man in his mid-sixties, whose best days, because of a brain condition, were gone, struggling on while becoming a weight on all around him. Whose wife and children would be left to deal with whatever I became.
“I didn’t want that for Anne and the boys. So how do you prevent it from happening? You take yourself out of the picture.
“There were times when I definitely thought that was a way out. If you’re stuck in a maze, with no sign of an escape route, eventually you’ll try something extreme. Especially if you have chosen to wander that maze alone.”
Thankfully for everyone, Kamara opened up on his issues and he urged anyone else contemplating those dark thoughts to seek help.
He adds that he began to release that the “future was not so bleak” as he began to accept his illness.
Apraxia of speech is a condition which makes talking difficult, with sufferers knowing what they’d like to say, but having trouble communicating their words.
The NHS says that the condition can be extremely frustrating for people.
They explained: “Frequently the person with apraxia will have difficulties with conversational speech. However they may be good at ‘automatic’ speech tasks such as counting, swearing, repeating rhymes, greetings and farewell.
“It’s usually caused by damage to the left side of the brain, such as a stroke.”
“The condition does not affect a person’s understanding and the symptoms of the condition can vary occurring to the severity of the disorder.”
MAIN SYMPTOMS OF APRAXIA
The main symptoms of apraxia are…
Being able to say a word correctly one minute and then not the next
Difficulty at the beginning of words
Greater difficulty with longer words
Aware of mistakes but unable to correct them
Being better at ‘automatic tasks’ such as counting and singing.
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