Paul spent most of his early life in orphanages in Dublin. He was the son of an Irish mother and a Nigerian father and recalled suffering racist abuse as a child. Despite this Paul quickly learned to excel at sport and was signed by Dublin football club St. Patrick's Athletic. After being voted Player of the Year he signed for Manchester United and helped them to victory in the FA Cup. He later had a long and successful career with Aston Villa and won 83 caps for Ireland, playing in two World Cups.