Chris Kamara is an English ex-professional football player and manager, served as a presenter and football analyst at Sky Sports from 1992 to 2022. Recognized for his robust playing style as a tough-tackling midfielder, Kamara commenced his career by enlisting in the Royal Navy at 16, subsequently signing with Portsmouth in November 1974.
Age: 66 years
Height: 1.85 m
Born: 25 December 1957
Birthplace: Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Spouse: Anne Kamara (m. 1982)
Profession: English former football player and manager
Born on Christmas Day in 1957 in Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire, Christopher Kamara is the son of a Sierra Leonean father, Alimamy Kindo “Albert” Kamara. His mother’s name is not known. Due to his father’s Sierra Leonean heritage, he was eligible to play for Sierra Leone and received a call-up for the 1994 African Cup of Nations, which he declined. Kamara’s father, who struggled with heavy gambling, often left his mother, Irene, to seek financial assistance from neighbors to provide for Kamara, his brother George, and sister Maria. Residing in Park End, one of the few black families, they endured racist abuse.
Christopher Kamara tied the knot with Anne on May 29, 1982. The couple is blessed with two sons named Jack Kamara and Ben Kamara.
In August 1985, he made a return to Swindon Town, contributing to the team’s consecutive promotions into the Second Division. His journey continued with a move to Stoke City in 1988, where a successful stint earned him a transfer to Leeds United in 1990. Playing a key role, he helped secure the Second Division title in 1989–90, but an eight-month injury layoff preceded his £150,000 transfer to Luton Town in 1991. After loan spells with Premier League clubs Sheffield United and Middlesbrough, he permanently joined Sheffield United in 1993. The subsequent year saw him join Bradford City as a player-coach.
Taking on the role of Bradford City manager in November 1995, he led the team from a relegation battle to promotion out of the Second Division via the play-offs in 1996. Departing the club in January 1998, he swiftly took charge at Stoke City but left the “Potters” in April 1998. Transitioning to a broadcasting career with Sky Sports, he later appeared as a presenter on various television programs.
Choosing to step away from management after his tenure at Stoke City, he became a pundit for several television and radio stations. Kamara secured a regular slot on Soccer Extra with Brian Woolnough in 1999 and was invited by Rob McCaffrey to contribute to Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports. In this unique role, he attended matches on Saturdays, providing live video updates and contributing with his trademark excitable nature, comical gaffes, and memorable sayings that often left host Jeff Stelling and fellow pundits bewildered. One of his notable on-air moments occurred when he failed to realize Anthony Vanden Borre had been sent off, mistakenly thinking he had been substituted during a match between Portsmouth and Blackburn.
Christopher Kamara has been actively involved in various roles within the realm of sports and entertainment. Since August 2000, he has presented the weekly Sky Sports show “Goals on Sunday” and offered additional commentary on some of Sky’s televised matches. Kamara is also a regular guest on Soccer AM, conducting interviews with players and managers at various grounds across the country.
Before the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Kamara changed his name by deed poll to Chris Cabanga, responding to a Facebook campaign backed by 20,000 people. Cabanga is a Zulu word meaning “to think” or “imagine.”
In 2012, Kamara made a special appearance for Welshpool Town, a Mid Wales Football League side, following a mocking incident by his Sky Sports colleague Jeff Stelling. He played a full 90 minutes, contributing to a goal with a corner. Kamara reprised this role in 2013, playing for Welshpool in another match.
Kamara co-presents the ITV series “Ninja Warrior UK” alongside Ben Shephard and Rochelle Humes. Additionally, he participated in ITV’s “Give a Pet a Home” series in 2015, collaborating with the RSPCA in Birmingham.
He has also been involved in charity events, such as appearing in an episode of The Great Sport Relief Bake Off in February 2016 and providing commentary for Soccer Aid 2016 in June of the same year. Since February 2017, Kamara has contributed commentary for the ‘Ant vs. Dec’ segment of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.
In 2021, Kamara played himself on the TV series Ted Lasso, featuring as a pundit on a fictional version of Soccer Saturday, alongside presenter Jeff Stelling.
In April 2022, it was announced that Kamara would be leaving Sky Sports at the end of the 2021–22 football season after contributing to Soccer Saturday for 24 years.
In September 2000, Chris Kamara contributed to the PlayStation game “Chris Kamara’s Street Soccer,” providing commentary and motion capture for player animation. As a commentator, he was also featured in the 2005 game “This Is Football” alongside Peter Drury. Kamara, who endured years of severe racial abuse as a player, was inducted into the Show Racism the Red Card Hall of Fame in 2004.
Since May 2010, Kamara has been a national ambassador for Marie Curie, leading the Charity of the Season partnership with the Football League in 2010/2011. He received ‘The Above & Beyond in Memory of Sir Bill Cotton award’ in December 2011 for his contributions to the charity. Kamara, along with a team of Football League ambassadors, raised £385,000 for Marie Curie by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
In April 2011, Kamara became an Ambassador for the Special Olympics Great Britain Organization. He released the charity single “Sing 4 England” in 2012 as England’s officially sanctioned tournament song for Euro 2012.In November 2019, Kamara released his debut album, “Here’s to Christmas,” which reached number 8 in the charts. He followed up with a second Christmas album, “And a Happy New Year,” on November 27, 2020.
On January 1, 2023, Kamara appeared as the character “Ghost” on the fourth series of The Masked Singer, singing “Save the Last Dance for Me.” In April 2010, Kamara published his autobiography, “Mr Unbelievable,” focusing on his football career and transition to football punditry.
On November 9, 2023, Kamara’s second autobiography titled “Kammy” was published, delving into his challenging upbringing, football career, and time as a football manager.
Chris Kamara Illness
In April 2021, Kamara received a diagnosis of an underactive thyroid after encountering “brain fog” during an interview on The One Show. His struggles with speech problems persisted until March 2022 when he was diagnosed with speech apraxia, as revealed in a podcast interview in September 2022. He disclosed that he had silently endured these challenges for 20 months before the underactive thyroid was identified in December 2022. Despite announcing a step back from presenting in April 2021, he continued his work in that capacity. In 2022, Kamara became the focus of an ITV documentary titled “Lost For Words.”
Chris Kamara’s Net Worth
Chris Kamara, a prominent figure in English football, has amassed a net worth estimated to be around $25 million.
Latest News about Chris Kamara
Chris Kamara Tears Up on Britain Get Singing: Opens Up About Speech Struggles and Overcoming Health Challenges
Sports host legend Chris Kamara became emotional on Britain Get Singing as he discussed his speech struggles. Reflecting on his diagnosis of an underactive thyroid two years ago, he expressed that at that time, he felt like “my life was over,” grappling with a condition that impacted his speech.
During the Christmas Eve broadcast of ITV’s Britain Get Singing, hosted by Roman Kemp, Chris Kamara took the stage alongside Aled Jones and Russell Watson. Dressed as a ghost, the trio represented The Masked Singer on the charity show, supporting ITV’s Britain Get Talking campaign. Following their performance, which received rave reviews from the judges, Kammy became overwhelmed with emotion.