|Full name||Christopher Kamara|
|Date of birth||25 December 1957|
|Place of birth||Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Defender / Midfielder|
|1992–1993||→ Sheffield United (loan)||8||(0)|
|1993||→ Middlesbrough (loan)||5||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Chris Kamara (born 25 December 1957) is a retired English footballer. He played for Portsmouth, Swindon Town, Brentford, Stoke City, Leeds United, Luton Town, Sheffield United and Bradford City. He also managed both Bradford City and Stoke City. He is now a presenter and football analyst on Sky Sports.
Kamara was born in Middlesbrough, in north east England to a father of Sierra Leonean roots in 1957. Before starting his footballing career at Portsmouth in 1975 Kamara served with the Royal Navy. Chris remains a great friend of Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson with whom he grew up on Middlesbrough's Park End council estate. He and Gibson regularly attended matches together.
Kamara's football career started when he joined Portsmouth in 1975. He played 68 times in two season at Fratton Park before joining Bobby Smith's Swindon Town. Kamara spent four seasons at Swindon scoring 26 goals in 183 appearances as the Robins posted four season of mid-table in the Third Division. He then made a brief return to Portsmouth playing in 14 matches at the start of the 1981–82 before joining Brentford. At Griffin Park Kamara spent four seasons which saw him score a career best of 11 goals in 1982–83 and a Football League Trophy runners-up medal in 1985.
Kamara re-joined Swindon Town in August 1985 under the guidance of Lou Macari the Robins enjoyed a successful three year spell. They won back to promotions from the Fourth Division to Second in 1985–86 and 1986–87. Kamara became the first English player to be convicted of assault for an on-pitch incident, after breaking Shrewsbury Town player Jim Melrose's cheekbone with a punch straight after the final whistle of a game in 1988. Kamara moved on again in the summer of 1988 this time joining Mick Mills at Stoke City. He had a good 1988–89 season at the Victoria Ground scoring five goals in 44 appearances and he won the player of the year award. However mid-way through the 1989–90 season Mills was sacked and replaced by Alan Ball who promptly sold him to Leeds United. Kamara helped Leeds win the Second Division title and appeared sparingly for the side in the top flight and he left Leeds in November 1991 and they went on to win the First Division.
Kamara remained in the top-flight joining David Pleat's Luton Town but the Hatters were relegated at the end of the |1991–92 season. From there Kamara wound down his career with loan spells at Sheffield United and his hometown club Middlesbrough and then Sheffield United again before ending his playing career at Bradford City.
In 2012, he made a one-off appearance for Mid Wales Football League side Welshpool Town, after his Sky Sports colleague Jeff Stelling mocked the strugglers following the club's 10–1 loss to Waterloo Rovers the previous week. Welshpool manager David Jones emailed Sky explaining how the club nearly folded, and Sky made amends by arranging for Kamara to play for them. He played the full 90 minutes, in midfield in a 6–1 defeat, assisting a goal with a corner.
Kamara was appointed manager of Bradford City in November 1995, where he successfully steered the Bantams to promotion in the 1995–96 season after winning 2–0 in the play-off final against Notts County (a feat made more impressive by the fact that Bradford had been 0-2 down in the play-off semi-finals after the first leg). The 1996–97 season saw Bradford narrowly escape relegation and he remained at Valley Parade until he was dismissed on 6 January 1998.
On 22 January he was appointed manager of one of his former club's Stoke City and arrived with bold intentions at the Britannia Stadium stating that he would build a squad good enough to take the club into the Premiership. However, with Stoke already in serious relegation trouble in 1997–98, Kamara sold their only player of real value, Andy Griffin to Newcastle United. In his 14 games in charge with the Potters, only one was won and he was sacked on 8 April 1998. Kamara's three months as Stoke manager was a disaster and the team could not recover from their poor form and were relegated to the third tier.
Kamara presents Sky Sports' Goals On Sunday show and provides additional commentary on some of Sky's televised matches. He also appears on the Soccer Saturday programme, where he usually appears over live video link providing brief updates on whichever match he is watching. He is well-known on the programme for his highly excitable nature, propensity for comical gaffes and tendency to come out with unusual sayings that baffle host Jeff Stelling and the other studio pundits, such as his observation that the Tottenham players were "fighting like beavers" in their match against Arsenal. In one of his more famous on-air gaffes, he failed to realise that Anthony Vanden Borre had been sent off in the game he was watching between Portsmouth and Blackburn. He has also coined the popular phrase "Unbelievable Jeff!".
Kamara also guest-stars on Soccer AM where he brings live link ups hours before games from various stadia. During the 2010-2011 season he has appeared weekly on Soccer AM fronting a challenge sketch titled "Kammy do it". This involves him going on various challenges, at the request of the viewers, across the UK against professionals or other celebrities. So far his activities have included clay pigeon shooting, weight lifting and challenging former Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle to a game of table tennis. Kamara was formerly the chairman of the panel which chooses the Football League Championship Manager of the Month award, but left the role for the beginning of the 2009-10 season.
Before the 2010 World Cup, Kamara changed his name by deed poll to Chris Cabanga in response to a Facebook campaign supported by 20,000 people. Cabanga is an African word meaning ‘to think’ or ‘imagine’. Before the World cup UK-based neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis conducted a number of experiments into the field of positive thinking. In the experiments, conducted at Sussex University March 2010, Dr Lewis found ‘Cabanga’ to be a particularly resonant word. Many England fans supported the Facebook campaign in the hope that it could help England win the World Cup. In September 2000, Chris Kamara's Street Soccer was released for the Sony PlayStation, for which Kamara provided both commentary and some basic motion capture for player animation, with the concept of the game pre-dating the EA Sports' FIFA Street series. He was also a commentator for 2005's This Is Football, alongside Peter Drury.
In December 2011, Kamara was awarded the 'The Above & Beyond in Memory of Sir Bill Cotton award' for his contributions to Marie Curie Cancer Care. He, and a team of Football League ambassadors, including Brendan Rodgers, Aidy Boothroyd, and Middlesbrough Chairman Steve Gibson managed to raise £385,000 for the charity and to climb to the peak of Kilimanjaro. As well as being an Ambassador for Marie Curie Cancer Care, Kamara became an Ambassador of the Special Olympics Great Britain Organisation in April 2011 after taking part in the Special Olympics Unity Cup as a celebrity partner before the Germany v Argentina quarter-final match in Cape Town, during the 2010 World Cup. On 26 June 2012 Kamara was one of the runners of the Olympic torch in Doncaster.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other[A]||Total|
|Swindon Town||1977–78||Third Division||40||10||3||0||6||1||0||0||49||11|
|Swindon Town||1985–86||Fourth Division||20||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||22||1|
|Stoke City||1988–89||Second Division||38||4||3||0||2||1||1||0||44||5|
|Leeds United||1989–90||Second Division||11||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||11||1|
|Luton Town||1991–92||First Division||28||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||29||0|
|Sheffield United (loan)||1992–93||Premier League||8||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||8||0|
|Middlesbrough (loan)||1992–93||Premier League||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||0|
|Sheffield United||1993–94||Premier League||16||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||17||0|
|Bradford City||1994–95||Division Two||23||3||2||0||3||0||2||1||30||4|
|Bradford City||27 November 1995||6 January 1998||122||40||26||46||32.79|
|Stoke City||22 January 1998||8 April 1998||14||1||5||8||7.14|
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