Chris Kamara Granted Freedom of Wakefield

in Wakefield

Chris Kamara MBE has been awarded the Freedom of the City of Wakefield in recognition of his outstanding services to charity and his contributions to the city.

The former professional football player and beloved national pundit received the honor from Mayor Josie Pritchard during a civic ceremony, followed by a private reception in his honor.

A Heartfelt Acceptance

Expressing his delight, Kamara stated,

“I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded Freedom of the City of Wakefield. It’s been an absolutely unbelievable day! I have lived in Wakefield longer than anywhere else. The people and the places are amazing, and it will always be our home. I’m blown away by it, this honor really means the world to me.”

“I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded Freedom of the City of Wakefield. It’s been an absolutely unbelievable day! I have lived in Wakefield longer than anywhere else. The people and the places are amazing, and it will always be our home. I’m blown away by it, this honor really means the world to me.”

Chirs Kamara

A Champion for Charity

Kamara has been a fervent supporter of numerous charitable causes, raising millions over the years. His notable contributions include significant work with Show Racism the Red Card and his role as a national ambassador for Marie Curie.

More recently, Kamara has been a prominent advocate for apraxia awareness, a condition he was diagnosed with in 2022.

Words of Praise

Mayor Josie Pritchard praised Kamara, stating,

“Chris is a local and national legend and an inspiration to so many people. We are absolutely delighted to have given him the highest honor we can bestow – Freedom of the City. He has been a massive supporter of many charities, raising millions and making a difference to the lives of many. Locally, he is an active supporter of Wakefield Hospice, Andy’s Man Club, and Pinderfields Hospital, to name but a few.”

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, added,

“Chris is a true ambassador of our city and we’re delighted to award him this honor today. His contribution to charity and our city really is – unbelievable.”

Football Career and Beyond

Chris Kamara’s illustrious 20-year football career saw him playing for nine English professional clubs, making 641 appearances, scoring 71 goals, and achieving three promotions. His tenure included stints at Bradford City, Leeds United, Sheffield United, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Swindon Town, Stoke City, Luton Town, and Brentford. He later managed Bradford City and Stoke City, leading Bradford to promotion in 1996.

Transitioning from player to pundit, Kamara became a household favorite as a presenter and football analyst on Sky Sports from 1998 to 2022.

He was particularly renowned for his vibrant commentary on Soccer Saturday, where his enthusiastic and unique phrases, such as describing players as ‘fighting like beavers’ during a Tottenham versus Arsenal match, endeared him to fans.

Honored with MBE

In recognition of his services to football, anti-racism efforts, and charitable work, Kamara was appointed MBE in the 2023 New Year Honours list.

Freedom of the City

Freedom of the City is the highest honor Wakefield Council can bestow, reserved for individuals or organizations that have served in an exceptional capacity. This ceremonial recognition highlights the significant role and contributions made by the recipient.

Previous recipients include Sir Rodney Walker, former chairman of the Rugby Football League, Wakefield Trinity legend Neil Fox MBE, and The 3rd Battalion The Rifles Regiment.

For those who missed the live event, the ceremony is available to watch again on Wakefield Council’s YouTube channel.

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