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Chelsea's first ever black player Paul Canoville 'making some progress in intensive care'


Chelsea’s first ever black player Paul Canoville ‘making some progress’ in intensive care after complications from surgery last month… with new banner paying tribute to him to make its debut at Stamford Bridge for Monday’s game against Newcastle

  • Paul Canoville is in intensive care after suffering from complications of surgery
  • The ex-winger was the first black player to play for Chelsea, debuting in 1982 
  • His foundation have released an update revealing Canoville is making progress 
  • A banner is set to be revealed at Stamford Bridge, reading ‘The Canners Way’  

Paul Canoville is ‘making some progress’ after entering intensive care, as Chelsea fans prepare to unveil a new banner in his honour at Stamford Bridge.   

The 58-year-old, the Blues’ first ever black player, was in a critical condition following complications of emergency surgery. 

Canoville’s foundation have issued an update, writing on Twitter: ‘Paul remains in intensive care but is making some progress.  

Paul Canoville became Chelsea's first black player when he joined the club in 1981

Paul Canoville, Chelsea’s first black player, entered intensive care in a critical condition 

Canoville, 58, continues to play a huge role in campaigns tackling racism and discrimination

Canoville, 58, continues to play a huge role in campaigns tackling racism and discrimination

‘His family would like to thank all those showing so much love. Big thanks to Chelsea and We Are The Shed for the banner that makes its debut at Stamford Bridge today!’ 

The Banner, which reads ‘The Canners Way’, will be on show at the Blues’ west London home for the Premier League clash with Newcastle on Sunday. 

The former winger – who has beaten cancer three times – joined Chelsea in 1981 and stayed for a five-year spell, making 79 appearances in blue and white.  

He remains a valued part of the club, working on his foundation which aims to motivate young people who face challenges early in their lives.   

A banner in the Shed End celebrating Canoville will be unveiled at Stamford Bridge on Monday

A banner in the Shed End celebrating Canoville will be unveiled at Stamford Bridge on Monday 

‘Paul has a major place in Chelsea history,’ Chelsea said in a statement after Canoville was brought into intensive care. 

‘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.’ 

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