Chris Kamara was a journeyman player and an unconvincing manager, but he has become a cult figure as a perennially overexcited pundit.
Career as average footballer, manager
During a creditable 20-year career in which he played for most teams in the Football League, Kamara was best known for his bizarre hair and crazy little moustache.
As a manager, Kamara led Bradford City up from Division Two via the play-offs but flopped at Stoke City before finding his true calling in life as a pundit on Sky Sport’s Soccer Saturday.
Career as manic, error-prone pundit
While Kamara isn’t amongst the sharpest tools in the box and often has little idea what is happening at games he is reporting on, he more than makes up for that with his boundless, infectious enthusiasm.
When the Sky cameras go over to Kamara he is almost always barking gibberish and far more animated than the stunned supporters in the background.
Kamara has said the phrase ‘ah, unbelievable Jeff,’ during every episode of Soccer Saturday to date.
During his distinguished career as a pundit, Kamara has produced a veritable museum of boobery.
‘He guided his header with his… head,’ and ‘Arsenal are different class, but Spurs are fighting like beavers,’ are amongst his greatest hits.
Disallowed goal nearly kills Kamara’s career, Kamara
On August 18 2007, a dramatic conclusion to Middlesbrough’s 2-1 win over Fulham tied the hapless Kamara up in knots.
A David Healy header crossed the line in the dying minutes but no goal was given. At that moment Kamara’s TV monitor cut out, leaving him baffled live on air.
Kamara (frenzied): Papa Bouba Diop with a header, ah, it’s a goal. It’s a goal Jeff.
Is it David Healy running away? Andy D’Urso’s playing on. Sorry my monitor’s down again, I’m looking over my shoulder. What, I don’t really know…
Oh, the assistant hasn’t give it, I don’t think Jeff. No, the referee hasn’t give it either.
Don’t really know what’s happening Jeff. Ha, ha. Could be, could be not. Ha, ha.
Goal-fests nearly kill Kamara’s career, Kamara
Kamara also came through some troubled times during Tottenham’s 6-4 win over Reading on December 29, 2007.
Three goals in a game is usually enough to send Kamara into hysterics and is scarcely believable for the loveable harlequin, so it was little wonder that covering a 10-goal thriller led to a serious breakdown.
His voice reduced to a shrill squark, Kamara desperately tried to convey how unusual events at White Hart Lane were, but by the end of the contest the tears were streaming down his face and he appeared to be speaking in tongues.
Kamara underwent a long course of rehabilitative therapy after the match but is still kept away from games where both sides have leaky defences.
Regrettably, Kamara also found himself at Portsmouth’s unrealistic 7-4 win over Reading.
Grinning manically, the suited jack-in-the-box repeatedly stressed that he ‘couldn’t believe it’.
Six hours after the cameras cut away, Kamara was pacing the sidelines at a deserted Fratton Park babbling: ‘I just can’t believe it’.
Kamara is unable to say the word ‘establish’.
Ill-advised foray into presenting
Kamara presents Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday, but, like John Barnes, he isn’t a naturally gifted presenter.
In fact, Kamara looks like a fish up a tree in the role as he squirms all over the sofa, regularly ignoring the autocue, his guests and simple etiquette.
Shitty old game
Amazingly, there was a game for the Playstation called ‘Chris Kamara’s Street Soccer’. While reviews are hard to come by, it was almost certainly shoddy fare.