All at Chelsea Football Club wish Paul Canoville, our former player, a rapid recovery following the statement today from his own trust that he is critically ill in hospital.

The statement explains complications set in following emergency surgery and his trust will post updates when it receives them.Paul has a major place in Chelsea history. 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. He recently discussed racism in football in a special video with Callum Hudson-Odoi.Get well soon Canners!