1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 An old relic say’s; “hey Canners, you there?
“How you doin big fella?
“I’ve an ugly confession to share
“I’m one of the idiots who mocked your colour”

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Verbally beaten black and blue
Addiction and thrice tussling the big C
“Eff off,” red faced skin heads would spew
Bulging veined singing “one, two, three”

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Up stepped a wee Scottish Knight
Candid braveheart Pat Nevin
Highlighting football’s dark blight
“People took note,” say’s Paul with a grin Click Here
Terrace horror stalked the “W**”
True Blue with a horror debut
Canners has emerged from the misty fog
Since Crystal Palace in eighty Two

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 National Front welcome; “La laa laa la”
Youthful Canners felt fetid despair
Quivering Paul peeled and ate that banana
Now ready to relive, educate and share

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Number7
(C) Emdad Rahman



I penned this after meeting Canners. I was six years old when he made his debut so this is based on my discussion with him and my readings on his life.

The scenes described and comments are reminiscent of some of the horror he experienced in his short career.

I’ve toned down the language but presented Canners with a copy of an unedited version. Football in England has improved much but there is work still to be done to stamp out racism.

Canners works brilliantly with young people but surely there is a place for him in mainstream football? .

Editor Note:Thank you for sharing this Emdad.
They were dark , dark times indeed.

For those unfamiliar with Canners ~ Click here :
.Paul Canoville: Chelsea pioneer on racism, rehab and redemption ~BBC

Through Peter Daniel at Westminster Archives and the Education Though Football project at Chelsea and their interest in our site I worked at The Bridge in 2004 with Paul in some incredibly moving workshop sessions. Long before Chelsea found Paul again, Canners had disappeared and fallen on hard times, fought a drug problem and Cancer. Fellow editor Stuart Butler and I initially wrote some poems and got invited down .

I also recall Kevin Raymond (long-time regular contributor here) telling me a Blues fan-mate had seen him really down and out in sheltered housing suddenly out of the blue.

Unaware of where he was, we would use his experience and treatment by fans to outline the horrors of racism in the 80s.Then we’d write poems together and tell stories of his life and all the hatred (as the Blues first black player) that he endured on and off the pitch. His book Black and Blue is a stunningly dark read of terrace racism and razor blades in the post.

The children in the sessions drew pictures which were turned into a wonderful animated film of his time. Will try to get hold of a copy ~ There are more poems here on this site on Paul Canoville …just use the search button .Crispin

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/canoville/