Chelsea’s first-ever black player Paul Canoville reveals doctors didn’t think he would make it after being placed in a coma following complications from emergency surgery last month… as he admits he has a long road ahead ‘coming back from this scare’
- Chelsea hero Paul Canoville has already beaten cancer three times in his life
- In early February, Canoville was in a critical condition after emergency surgery
- Canoville spent six weeks in an induced coma following three operations
- The former Chelsea star said doctors were not convinced he would pull through
Paul Canoville, Chelsea’s first ever black player, has revealed that doctors were not sure he would pull through after being placed in an induced coma for six weeks.
Canoville, 59, was in a critical condition in intensive care following complications after emergency surgery back in February.
He has since regained enough strength to return home but opened up on the ‘scare’ that had doctors and nurses concerned.
Paul Canoville (left), Chelsea’s first ever black player (right), has revealed how doctors were not sure he would make a full recovery having been placed into an induced coma after surgery
‘This is a slow process,’ he told talkSPORT. ‘It’s not like an operation I’ve had in the past and recovered quickly.
‘This is a close one and the doctors who were part of the surgery said they didn’t think I’d come through.’
Canoville explained that he had felt a sharp pain but initially decided to take pain relief and sleep it off.
That did not help and after going to a consultant he was immediately put forward for a computed tomography (CT) scan which caused a great deal of concern.
‘Before I knew it that was it,’ he continued. ‘[I had] three operations and I know this because my sister had the information every day from doctors. I really truly can’t believe it.’
Canoville went into intensive care after complications following emergency surgery
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand tweeted his best wishes to Canoville and the former Chelsea player said he was blown away by the number of messages he received
Canoville is building up strength at home but did explain how when he was in the hospital and in the coma he recalls being in a vivid dream.
‘I had this dream I was in the Caribbean in the water thinking “this is great, this is brilliant” and then in my ears I could hear “Paul, Paul, do you know where you are?”,’ he said.
‘That was the nurse constantly in the ear! How am i still here? God is good and he has a path laid out for me.’
Chelsea displayed a new banner for the first time, paying tribute to him during the match against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge on February 15, which Thomas Tuchel’s side won 2-0.
‘The banner at the game was unbelievable, so unbelievable,’ he added. ‘It was really appreciated. It’s slow, coming back from this scare, this is taking its time.’
The former winger – who has beaten cancer three times – joined Chelsea in 1981 and stayed for a five-year spell, making 79 appearances in blue and white.
A new banner was placed in Stamford Bridge to pay tribute to Canoville back on February 15
Canoville, 58, continues to play a huge role in campaigns tackling racism and discrimination
He remains a valued part of the club, working on his foundation which aims to motivate young people who face challenges early in their lives.
‘Paul has a major place in Chelsea history,’ Chelsea said in a statement after Canoville went into intensive care.
‘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.’