On Saturday, Chris Kamara confirmed he will be leaving Soccer Saturday after more than 20 years on the show, garnering a legion of fans and delivering a litany of iconic moments along the way
Jeff Stelling fought back tears to pay a touching tribute to Chris Kamara after the broadcast icon announced he will be leaving the Sky Sports football spot on Saturday later this year.
camera has spent more than two decades as a pundit on the show, earning legendary status for his affable style and iconic catchphrase, “Incredible Jeff!” The 64-year-old announced in March that he had been diagnosed with apraxia of speech, and admitted he may need to tone down live performances as the condition affects his ability to speak.
“After 24 years at Sky Sports we have announced my departure,” he posted on social media. “I loved every minute and the memories will live with me forever. Working with Jeff & the boys was amazing! And the special days at Goals on Sunday with Ben Shephard who has become a great pal. I had a great time!”
A statement from Sky Sports added: “After 24 brilliant years at Sky Sports, including many years as the star of Soccer Saturday, Chris Kamara is leaving the show at the end of the season. The Soccer Saturday show paid tribute to him this afternoon and he is leaving with our thanks and best wishes.”
Gary Hughes, Sky Sports Director of Football said: “Kammy was a Sky Sports star. Everyone has a favorite Kammy anecdote or highlight, and the tribute we paid him on air this afternoon really shows the special place he holds in the hearts of our viewers.
“We were very lucky to have him and he will always be part of the Sky Sports football family.”
After a clip showing some of Kammy’s best moments on the show, a clearly emotional Stelling showered his longtime colleague with praise. “Kammy is a genius and an absolute genius,” he began, before inviting fellow artist Paul Merson to pay his own tribute. “Despite all the fun things, his knowledge of football is second to none.
“What a guy. He knows his football, he loves his football. People will look at him and think he’s just funny, but his knowledge of football is scary. You could sit down with him and he knew absolutely everything. He will be sorely missed.”
Stelling continued: “He was always perfectly prepared, in football he is so respected for his knowledge of the game. And from my perspective can I just say that it has been a privilege to have worked with Kammy for so long and he has been a key factor in the success of Football Saturday.
“His warmth, his energy, his humor, his ability to miss red cards. No one has worked harder and they will continue to work hard. You’ll still see him on your TV screens, but not on our show.
“He’s a good man, one of the best. A great friend and I will miss him tremendously and I know you will too at home. Good luck Kammy!”
Football Saturday underwent a radical change early last season when longtime pundits Matt Le Tissier, Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas were axed. Stelling had suggested he would step down as an anchor before making an about-face and confirmed he will stay on for at least another season.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/chris-kamara-soccer-saturday-stelling-26840414 Jeff Stelling emerges in tribute to Chris Kamara as the pundit announces exit on Football Saturday