Eddie Newton - Former Footballer
“My first encounter with Paul was when I watched him play against Sheffield Wednesday away, he had an unbelievable impact on the game. As a young man with aspirations of playing at the highest level, I saw Canners as a shining light, with abuse that came from the terraces it was hard to stomach the words aimed at black players but with players like Canners he inspired me to achieve my dreams no matter the obstacles.
Canners is a pioneer, he was on the pitch and now with the work that he’s charity is doing, he is again showing the way forward addressing the social problems we have to deal with on a daily basis.
Canners I take my hat off to you, your energy and positivity is infectious and when you call me to help it is an honour. Our community, our world needs more human beings like yourself, because without people like you in the world it would be a dark place. I see you, I hear you and most of all I appreciate you.”
Omid Djalili - Comedian
Comedian & Chelsea fan
“Going to Stamford Bridge in the 80s, regardless of being their first ever black player, without question one of the most exciting players at Chelsea Football Club was Paul Canoville.
Since his playing days finished we can see now that Paul’s work in the domain of social discourse on racism has not only been important but now, in the light of recent events in America, absolutely vital in tackling one of society’s most insidious of evils. So much so that I can say unequivocally, that I am more excited by his work off the field now than on it, which, to use his own words - “trust me” - is really saying something.
Trevor Nelson (MBE) - DJ
DJ & Presenter
“Paul Canoville was a true pioneer for Chelsea Football Club and its fans. I supported him in his playing days and continue to do so in his work through his Foundation”
I have contributed to many of his projects over the years because I am proud of the work he has done.”
Pat Nevin - Former Footballer
Ex Chelsea, Everton, Clyde, Tranmere, Kilmarnock & Motherwell. Also a football writer and broadcaster.
“Paul is an inspiration in so many ways. He has come from a tough background, to get to the very top as a professional footballer all the odds were still stacked against him, even when he got there, because of the racist abuse he received.
Through misfortune he found himself in some dark places but has fought his way back to be an inspiration to a whole new generation.
While doing all this he continued to care for and be loved by others. I am proud to count him as a great friend and still an inspiration for me, particularly through his current efforts with his foundation.”
Gary Trowsdale - Media & Communications
One-time UK Marketing Society Marketer of the year. Ex CEO Damilola Taylor Trust and UK Parliament special advisor. Gary supports the PCF with media and special events.
Neil Barnett - Broadcaster & Journalist
CFC insider for 30 years. Broadcaster & journalist.
I was there in the Chelsea crowd when Paul Canoville constantly suffered widespread, screaming racism. It was disgusting. It was poisonously anti-black.
That was the 1980s. The world has changed... but it’s still the same. We are definitely, positively, more cosmopolitan. And we have social media. Confusingly, that can help you be more switched on, or make you more alienated and isolated.