Black and Blue: How Racism, Drugs and Cancer Almost Destroyed Me

51hH8E4wxDL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

Black and Blue: How Racism, Drugs and Cancer Almost Destroyed Me, Paul Canoville

I am not a Chelsea fan and this was a player before my time, but an opportunity was presented to me with a chance to interview Paul Canoville for the SoccerNomad podcast so I picked up a copy.

The book recounts Paul’s difficult childhood, which included a difficult relationship with his mother and the absence of a father. Unfortunately he had run-ins with the law as he sought his way in the world and was homeless for a time. In terms of football he played on local teams, which meant he arrived at Stamford Bridge unfamiliar with the schoolboy structures and ways that help youths transition to the first team. His time at Chelsea was a mixed bag and while he never hit the heights, he had several memorable moments. After his playing career he wrestled with internal demons, and these further strained his relationships and finances. On top of all of this was a fight with cancer.

Paul reflects on his youth, the racial abuse he suffered at Chelsea, his drug addiction and his battle with cancer with candor. He doesn’t pull punches about his motivations as a younger man and acknowledges the consequences of his choices. He came out on the other side clean and focused and now works as a force for good, sharing his story with youth. His foundation allows him to interact with children in order to stress the importance of education and making good choices.

The book was a great chance to learn more about the history of football and also hear a story of personal redemption.

My interview with him can be found here.

Advertisements
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: