The story of Paul Canoville

Friday 26 November 2021

As part our ongoing efforts to tackle the issue of racism, LSBU are proud to host in ‘in conversation’ style event with Paul Canonville, the first Black professional football player for the Chelsea Football club, to hear his story and to explore the topic of racism in football & generally from his days on the pitch to today


Paul Canoville from the age of five, knew he was destined to be a football player. Being raised in a single parent household, struggling in school & brushes with the law did not deter him. What Paul did not know was when he embarked on his debut appearance as Chelsea Football Club first black player, was the racist abuse he would endure from fans from his own club, that would continue throughout his signing there.

An incident that many believed was racially charged, led Paul to be transferred to Reading FC but his career was blighted by injury & he was forced to retire in his prime. The callous chain of events caused a down spiral into the dark path of drug abuse which led to rehab, only to be stricken with Cancer.

It was Paul’s desire to overcome his own battles and help young children that came from backgrounds similar to like his own that inspired him to start the Paul Canoville Foundation – ‘Being the change’ youngsters needed to see and rising up resiliently.

Paul also is an avid campaigner & spokesperson against racism & is also the Ambassador of ‘Music Against Racism’ campaign; an organisation set up in 2020 in response to rising levels of racism. He is also qualified mental health talking therapy practitioner…

Sanchia Alasia, Acting Group Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at LSBU, will interview Paul to find out more about how he coped with the racism he suffered, his low points by having his career cut short through injury and how he has overcome these using his foundation, which was founded in 2015.

The foundation works with schools and youth organisations to promote confidence, wellbeing, diversity and resilience through workshops and sporting activities in conjunction with our partners.

This event will be delivered on Zoom. You will receive the joining instructions in the leadup to the event.

More Online Events Listings MORE

Online Events Tuesday 18th June

The Power of Therapeutic-Led Fostering

Join our virtual event to explore therapeutic-led fostering! Discover its impact on children in need. Learn techniques empowering…