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An Evening With Paul Canoville

28 February 2015

Hear the former Royals' story

The Reading FC Former Players Association would like to invite supporters to attend An Evening with Paul Canoville on March 12th.

Hosted in The Reading Irish Centre, Chatham Street, Reading, RG1 7HT, the ex-Royal will open up about his troubled adolescence and how football came to the rescue.

After fighting battles against racism, homelessness, drug addiction, alcoholism and two bouts of life threatening cancer, Canoville is now a motivational speaker and runs the MTC (Motivate to Change) Foundation. 

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

Those interested should contact Richard Wickson on 078998 46664 or by email on

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 that won the Second Division title in 1984, scoring six goals in 20 appearances. After 103 League and cup appearances, and scoring 15 goals, he found a regular first-team place hard to come by and subsequently joined Reading in August 1986.

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 against Sunderland in October 1986.

This effectively ended his professional career at the age of 24. He moved down to non-league football, making appearances for Enfield, Maidenhead United and Burnham, before retiring.

Visit Paul’s website,, to learn more about his work in his community. 

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