|Birth Day:||March 4, 1962|
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He made his debut for Chelsea when the team's fans included prominent neo-nazi and racist groups, who heaped abuse on him.
Paul Kenneth Canoville was born to Udine Patricia "Patsy" Lake on 4 March 1962 at 10 Albert Road, Southall. His mother emigrated to England from Anguilla and his father had come from the Commonwealth of Dominica. His mother raised him and his sister June alone, as his father had no interest in raising a family. As a teenager he played truant from school and was sent to three months in borstal after he became involved in petty crime. When his mother moved in with her boyfriend in Slough in 1979 Canoville slept rough and in hostels, and at one hostel was falsely accused of rape.
Canoville signed for John Neal's Chelsea in December 1981; he was paid £175 a week and Hillingdon Borough received a £5,000 fee. Though violence and discrimination were rife in British football at the time, Chelsea in particular had a reputation for racism. He made his debut against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on 12 April 1982, coming on as a late substitute for Clive Walker, who had scored the only goal of the game.
Canoville was sold to Second Division Reading in August 1986 for £60,000. He saw the move as a fresh start away from the racist abuse he had received at Chelsea, and he was more respected at Reading due to his experience in the First Division. However, he ruptured his cruciate ligament in a clash with Sunderland's Dave Swindlehurst at Roker Park on 21 October and was ruled out for the rest of the 1986–87 season. After ten months of recovery he was fit enough to be included in manager Ian Branfoot's first team plans for the 1987–88 season. He scored in a 3–0 win against Oldham Athletic at Elm Park but his knee caused him to leave the game after 65 minutes. He went on to feature a total of eight times that season, including in a League Cup win over former club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but was never able to fully regain match fitness. In November 1987 his knee gave way again and Canoville announced his retirement from professional football.
By 1991 he had begun taking crack cocaine, and within a few years he became an addict. He had built a good career as a DJ after retiring as a footballer, but sold his records and equipment to pay for crack. He spent most of 1996 in rehab. In 1996, he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer which attacks the immune system. He underwent a course of chemotherapy for the illness and made a full recovery. In 1999, he moved to the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, but soon began taking crack on the island and returned to London. In 2004, he entered rehab for a second time, at which point his cancer returned; by March 2005 he was again free of drugs and his cancer was in remission.
A self-confessed womaniser, he has fathered eleven children through ten different women. His children are: Natalie (born 1979 to Christine), Derry (born May 1982 to Maureen), Dwayne, Lorreen (born April 1985 to Marsha), Germelle (born May 1985 to Valerie), Jahmal (born January 1991), Pierre (born 26 December 1986 to Maria), Udine (born January 1988 to Joyce), Nickel (born 23 February 1988 to Suzy), Paris (born 13 September 1992 to Tracey), Tye Paul (born 20 December 1995, also to Tracey), and Caysey (born 3 November 1995 to Sonia). He met most of the women through the London rave and acid house party scene. Tye, died in infancy in 1995 from a heart defect.
After two years working as a driver for disabled children, he became a classroom assistant in November 2007. Canoville's memoir, Black And Blue, (co-written with Rick Glanvill) was published in March 2008. It won a number of awards include Best Autobiography in the National Sporting Club's 2009 Book Awards, and Best Autobiography in the 2009 British Sports Book Awards. In March 2015 Sky Sports aired a documentary film chronicling his life story entitled Black & Blue: The Paul Canoville Story. In July 2018 it was the subject of discussion on BBC Radio 4's A Good Read.
Currently, Paul Canoville is 60 years, 3 months and 21 days old. Paul Canoville will celebrate 61st birthday on a Saturday 4th of March 2023.
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