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Ex-Chelsea and Reading player critically ill in intensive care

Ex-Chelsea and Reading player Paul Canoville is unfortunately critically ill in intensive care, it’s confirmed by the Premier League club.

He is in a worrying way in hospital after having some complications following some emergency surgery that he had recently.

The 58-year-old played for the Blues from 1981 until 1986, making 79 appearances and scoring 11 goals in the process before leaving for Reading.


All at Chelsea Football Club wish Paul Canoville, our former player, a rapid recovery following the statement today from his own trust that he is critically ill in hospital.

The statement explains complications set in following emergency surgery and his trust will post updates when it receives them.

Paul has a major place in Chelsea history. He made his debut in 1982 and was the first black player in our men’s first team. He faced considerable prejudice but stayed strong and went on to make 100 appearances, including during the glorious promotion of 1983/84 and a memorable season in the top flight that followed.

In more recent times Paul has been back involved in the club, working on Chelsea Foundation projects and as a host in the hospitality areas at Stamford Bridge. He recently discussed racism in football in a special video with Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Get well soon Canners!


The message shared by the Paul Canoville Foundation read: “We are sad to advise that our founder, Paul Canoville, is critically ill in hospital after complications set in following emergency surgery.

“We are aware that his many followers and fans on his social media accounts have been missing his regular posts for two weeks now.

“We know how loved Paul is, and will post updates as we get them, but ask that his family’s wish for privacy is respected and they are not contacted by the media.

“The PFA are in contact with Paul’s family and being very supportive.

“Please keep Paul in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.”

Paul also made appearances for the likes of Enfield, Hillingdon Borough, Maidenhead United, Burnham, Northwood and Egham Town in a career that started in 1979 and finished in 1994.

Fans gave their reaction and heartfelt messages with the ex-Chelsea and Reading player critically ill in intensive care…

@pafcollins: Good luck to Paul. Met him on a couple of occasions and he’s a gentleman and a gentle man. Horrible news, but he’s strong. Thoughts and prayers with him and his loved ones.

@robinacoles: Hoping and praying Paul, you are an inspiration to us all

@TomlolK: Get well soon Paul….. Stay strong and safe you Chels Legend UTC

@carefreemalc: He has fought against so much adversity. I just hope and pray he overcomes this.

@TheScore01: Take care @Kingcanners, get well soon.

@lukbon: Sending all good wishes and prays.

@stuartrose47: Come on @Kingcanners you can do this. We’re rooting for you. Be strong. UTC.

@PremCFCPatel26: Stay strong, you will get through this

@milesnico: Hang in there @Kingcanners you can do this

@JeffYoungDJ: Come on Canners! You can do this!!

@_CFC_Luke: I hope he gets well soon

@chelseadude78: @ChelseaFC Prayers with him and his family God bless

@dotcfc: Such a nice guy, wishing him a speedy recovery

@Sid_UptheChels: Wishing him a speedy recovery

@bobperkins12: Wishing Paul all the very best and I hope he makes a speedy and full recovery.

@Hazz3112: Lovely man, was kind enough to do a video message for my dad’s birthday back in May, get well soon

@Fordmeister: No way this will take @Kingcanners down, it’s the second half against @swfc we are 3 down and we have our hero

@MrCombover: Met him a few years ago at Chelsea. Lovely man. A credit to his profession

@thomastimsytom: Speedy recovery lad

@Jonathankydd: Upset that the brilliant ex @ChelseaFC @Kingcanners Paul Canoville is critically ill after surgery. A really lovely friendly man whose huge warmth is always so great to experience. Sending big for his recovery. His stories about goal scoring are always so joyous & infectious.

@AttilaMoso79: Sending @Kingcanners all our prayers 🙏 spoke to Paul several times last year before Covid kicked off and how he was going to help raise money for my daughter’s charity @conniescrusade. A real gentleman and always willing to help others, you can do this Paul keep fighting mate 💙

@190FIVE_: Wishing you a speedy recovery @Kingcanners

@TheChelsSocial: Get well soon King Canners – you are in our thoughts and prayers

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