Kamara: Leicester City great for the Premier League

The Soccer Saturday pitchside reporter says that the Foxes' success is good for the game...

Chris Kamara has long been on our TV screens reporting on matches from the sidelines or up in the stands for Sky Sports.

And we recently got the opportunity to ask his opinion on a wide range of subjects as part of a promotion for a new health campaign. Here he gives us his views on how Leicester are good for the league, on working with Jeff Stelling and that moment he missed a red card while reporting on the sidelines of a match.

On the Premier League and Leicester...

It’s the best it’s ever been in terms of upsets… And for the neutrals. For someone like Leicester City to have been sitting at the top for as long as they have and in with a fantastic chance of winning it, it’s really brought the Premier League back to people’s notice. All of a sudden from people thinking that you need bundles and bundles of money to win the league all of a sudden Leicester have done it with – not on a shoe string – but certainly nowhere near the budget of some of the teams around them.

On Leicester winning it

Only time will tell if they finish it off. That pressure will kick in and at the moment we don’t know how they’re going to handle it but so far it doesn’t seem to have affected them. At the moment it’s by no means a forgone conclusion that they’re going to win it but it’ll be interesting to see how they react over the next few weeks when the pressure is really on.

Chris Kamara

Chris Kamara. Once a rampaging central midfielder...

On Soccer Saturday: what does it take to be a great pitch-side reporter? 

I don’t know you’ll have to ask someone else… But I was the first to do one of these outside broadcast cameras and it’s now called Kamara cam so it’ll live long after I’ve gone and obviously I’ve been doing it for quite a while. I was the original outside broadcaster on Soccer Saturday and I prefer that because it keeps me in contact with the players and managers and I obviously see the fans on the gantry. And one thing the fans see that has made them quite like me is that I’m totally unbiased. So if it’s Manchester City vs Manchester United, for instance, they’ll see that I'm as loud if Manchester City score a goal as I am if Manchester United score a goal. 

I’ve loved football since I was a kid and it’s a privilege to do what I do. I don’t abuse that privilege.

On Jeff Stelling

We have a good rapport. We often meet up on a Friday night. We have a chat; we all get on fantastically well. Jeff’s a legend. Nobody could do that show as well as he does. It’s amazing all the statistics he stores in that head of his and how he brings them out so fluently.

We’ve had a fantastic relationship and we’re really good friends. We enjoy each other’s company.

That Portsmouth Anthony Vanden Borre incident…

Everybody mentions the Anthony Vanden Borre sending off at Portsmouth and it was quite a crazy day as the gantry was closed off for health and safety, so we were stuck in the corner in the Fratton End and it was raining too. And so the producer said she’d give us the cue when Jeff was coming to me but instead she went to somebody else. At that particular moment I went to speak to the camera and I turned my back on the game. You can look over your shoulder, which I did, and I saw Anthony Vanden Borre walking towards the touchline and then I saw Avram Grant so I presumed it was a substitution… I’m not the only one in the ground who thought that.

Vanden Borre had already had a yellow and he knew he was going to be sent off so he started walking off… so when Jeff came to me he already knew that he’d been a sent off. 

I had no idea. You can either style it out or you can tell the truth. The next day it went crazy, with a Fox TV station in America covering it and they loved it and with media all over the world covering it. Sky got all this free publicity and it was great - it’s had some 5 million views on YouTube.

On his "Unbelievable, Jeff…" saying...

I didn’t realise I was doing it until the end of season compilation was put together. It’s no bad thing having a catchphrase.

Chris Kamara is supporting One You, Public Health England's new health campaign which provides free and personalised support, advice and tools to help you make small changes to improve your health now and in the future. Search One You today to take the free online health quiz