Ben Shephard says he's 'unbelievably proud' of Chris Kamara

‘He’s had such a tough year’: Ben Shephard says he’s ‘unbelievably proud’ of pal Chris Kamara after he was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list

Ben Shephard has said he is ‘unbelievably proud’ of his pal Chris Kamara after the legendary football star was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list. 

The ITV presenter, 48, tweeted a sweet selfie of himself with the former Sky Sports pundit, 64, detailing how the honour is ‘well-deserved’ after his ‘tough year.’

The former footballer and Bradford and Stoke manager was recognised for services to football, charity and anti-racism.

‘So unbelievably proud’: Ben Shepherd gushed over pal Chris Kamara on Twitter on Friday as the legendary football star was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list

Ben wrapped an arm around Chris in the throwback photo as he gushed how Chris ‘never stopped supporting charities’ while suffering with apraxia of speech.

He wrote: ‘So unbelievably proud of @chris_kammy⁩ being awarded an #MBE. Despite such a tough year personally, he never once stopped supporting the charities and causes he believes in.

‘It’s so thoroughly deserved – and yes he’s already insisting I bow/salute whenever I see him! #kammy’.

‘It’s so thoroughly deserved’: The ITV presenter, 48, shared a sweet selfie of the pair as he gushed how ‘unbelievably proud’ he is of the Sky Sports pundit, 64

Congrats! The former footballer and Bradford and Stoke manager was recognised for services to football, charity and anti-racism

Chris revealed the exciting news of his MBE earlier that day on Twitter and thanked everyone for their support. 

He wrote: ‘The news is now out there & would you believe it. I have been awarded an MBE for services to Football ⚽️ Charity & Anti Racism work. 

‘The scruffy kid from the Boro would like to thank everyone for the support that you have all given me. You really are Unbelievable.’ 

‘Despite such a tough year personally’: The Tipping Point host gushed how Chris ‘never stopped supporting charities’ while suffering with apraxia of speech

There was a huge outpouring of support for Kamara on social media when he went public about his apraxia of speech (AOS) diagnosis.

It was an end of an era for Chris when he left his Sky Sports jobs after 24 years at the end of last season due to the condition. 

AOS can make it difficult to pronounce words correctly, and led to people often thinking Chris was ‘drunk’ due to his slurred speech. 

He said he felt ‘a fraud’ as a broadcaster having learned he had the condition earlier this year. 

Exciting: Chris revealed the exciting news of his MBE earlier that day on Twitter and thanked everyone for their support.

A documentary called for Lost For Words about Kamara coming to terms with the condition was broadcast earlier this month.

Apraxia is a neurological condition that affects the body’s ability to perform natural motor functions, with many sufferers developing problems with speech.

He was also diagnosed with an underactive thyroid last year and has stepped away from the majority of his broadcasting roles due to the issue.

The Middlesbrough-born presenter quit Sky due to the demands of live broadcasting but has continued working for ITV on a number of pre-recorded television shows.

 So sad: There was a huge outpouring of support for Kamara on social media when he went public about his apraxia of speech (AOS) diagnosis and stepped away from presenting 

Kamara has fought to overcome his speech issues and recently returned to screens to co-host The Games and Ninja Warrior UK.

Fans originally became concerned for the pundit when they noticed he was slurring some of his words when reporting live from matches, with Kamara eventually revealing that he had been dealing with the issue for two years. 

Born in Middlesbrough of Sierra Leonean, English and Irish descent, Kamara served in the navy before joining Portsmouth for the first of two spells.

 Work: The Middlesbrough-born presenter quit Sky due to the demands of live broadcasting but has continued working for ITV on a number of pre-recorded television shows

He played over 200 games across two stints at Swindon, and also played for Brentford, Stoke, Leeds, Luton, Sheffield United, Middlesbrough and Bradford.

He also led the Bantams to promotion to what is now the Championship in 1996.

Kamara’s MBE recognised his services to football, charity and anti-racism.

He spoke in 2020 about how a pub in Wetherby had refused to serve him due to the colour of his skin on his way back to Portsmouth after playing for Pompey in 1975.

WHAT IS APRAXIA OF SPEECH? 

Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult to speak. 

This disorder can make saying the right sounds and words very difficult and can be observed as slurring.

It is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control how muscles move, leading to apraxia of speech. 

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