Here is some heartwarming news from the EFL League One.
In an EFL Championship match, Middlesbrough fans unveiled a banner in support of former player Chris Kamara, 64, who confessed he feels like a ‘fake’ due to his fight with speech apraxia.
The former midfielder was born in the town and spent a season on loan with the club in 1993 before going on to have a tremendously successful career as a Sky Sports pundit.
Kamara spoke on Steven Bartlett’s ‘Diary of a CEO’ podcast earlier this week to describe his battle with speech apraxia and a different thyroid ailment.
The condition leads the Englishman to slur parts of his words and makes it difficult for him to say things in the sequence or manner in which he intends.
It is a neurological problem, which means that the brain knows what it wants to convey but that the channels for doing so are frequently clogged.
The disease has had a severe impact on Kamara, who is best remembered as the enthusiastic character of the Sky Sports goals show Soccer Saturday, affectionately known as ‘Kammy.’
He had an incredible bond with broadcaster Jeff Stelling, with the two exchanging insults and banter for 24 years, with Kamara’s phrase ‘unbelievable Jeff’ becoming a popular Twitter meme.
Fans in his hometown have now publicly shown their support for Kammy by displaying a banner during their 0-0 draw at home against Rotherham United.
It read: “You’re not a fraud. You’re unbelieveable Kammy.” Kamara was also quick to respond and show his gratitude with a reply to the club’s official Twitter account. He said: “Wow that is ‘unbelievable Jeff’ Thank You” alongside some clapping emojis.
Speaking on the podcast, Kamara spoke of his feelings of shame about his illness, believing he had become something of a ‘fraud;’ in the broadcasting world as he was no longer able to perform like he used to.
“I feel a fraud now in terms of broadcasting – I don’t bring to the table what I used to,” he told Steven Bartlett. “So that’s hard. 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.
Middlesbrough are currently 22nd on the EFL table.