My First Car: Chris Kamara tells of his disastrous date in his Austin 1100

Chris KamaraChris Kamara
Chris Kamara
Former footballer Chris Kamara’s first car let him down badly on a first date.

He bought the Austin 1100 while he was a young player at Portsmouth after securing free lessons through the club chairman John Deacon.

“I plucked up courage to ask this woman on a date and we went to the Isle of Wight,” he said. “But the car lost power and I tried to mend it but to be honest I had no idea what I was doing.

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“The car got us home at about 10mph and I was getting abuse from other drivers. The date was a disaster because I was more concerned about the car than the woman sat next to me.”

Austin 1100Austin 1100
Austin 1100

The car cost him £600 but as his career progressed he had some rather more upmarket cars.

Chris, 65, who played for a number of clubs including Bradford City, Leeds United and Sheffield United before becoming a pundit, said he had some interesting vehicles over the years.

“I had a Mercedes and a Range Rover, all the nice cars that footballers aspire to,” he said.

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He now has a Volvo XC90, which he adores. “It is brilliant,” he said. “It is such a safe car and it is a seven-seater so I’ve got room for the grandkids. It is the safest car on the road and I love it.”

He said the car suffered a puncture at 70mph on the way back from a family visit to Swindon but the car’s safety technology meant he was unscathed.

“I can’t praise that car highly enough,” he said. He said it was better than any of the glamorous cars he drove during his career as a footballer.

Chris was awarded the MBE in the 2023 new year honours for his work with football, charity and anti-racism campaigns.

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He recently appeared on the television programme the Masked Singer and said: “I am busier than ever. I thought I was supposed to be taking it easy but I’m doing more and more,” he said.

"But people keep asking me to go on their television programmes and I just can’t say no. I love it.”