News and events

An Evening With Paul Canoville


Paul Canoville

Footballers have an easy life! Don't they...?
Come along and listen to a former Reading and Chelsea player who has a story to tell.

Canoville had been a teenage delinquent until he found success as a footballer with Chelsea FC. He became the first black player at Stamford Bridge. He fought personal battles against racism, homelessness, drug addiction, alcoholism and two bouts of life threatening cancer. He is now a motivational speaker and runs the MTC (Motivate to Change) Foundation.

Supporting him on this special evening will be former Reading FC Manager Ian Branfoot and team-mates and friends, Michael Gilkes and Steve Richardson.

Doors open 7pm for 8pm start
The Reading Irish Centre, Chatham Street, Reading, RG1 7HT
£5 in advance - tickets on sale on our events page
Bar facilities available with Parking at the Chatham Street multi-storey car park

As a regular in Hillingdon Borough’s Southern League side at the age of 17, Paul soon attracted interest from a host of Football League clubs and in December 1981, as a 19 year old, he joined Chelsea.

Canoville was a key member of the Chelsea side which won the Second Division title in 1983–84 scoring 6 goals in 20 appearances. After 103 League and cup appearances, and scoring 15 goals, and finding a regular first team place hard to come by, he joined Reading in August 1986 for a £60,000 transfer fee.

The acquisition of Canoville by Manager Ian Branfoot helped to boost his 1985/86 Third Division championship side in readiness for their Division Two campaign. He had a bright start to his time at Reading, scoring and creating several goals, but suffered a dislocated knee, a torn cartilage and a rupture to his cruciate ligament in a tackle by Sunderland's Dave Swindlehurst in October 1986, three months into his debut season. This effectively ended his professional career at the age of 24. After a failed comeback, he moved down to non-league football, making appearances for Enfield, Maidenhead United and Burnham, before retiring.

If you want to learn more of Paul’s work in the community and of his MTC Foundation, go to his website

Click here to purchase tickets for this event.

19 February 2015

© Reading FC Former Players Association.
Designed by Cream Design. Built and Hosted by Oscura.