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Justin Fashanu

Justin Fashanu

Justinus Soni "Justin" Fashanu was a son of a Guyanese nurse and a Nigerian barrister. When his parents split up, Justin and his younger brother John were sent to a Barnardo's care home. When he was six, he and John were fostered by Alf and Betty Jackson and were brought up in Shropham, Norfolk. Fashanu excelled at boxing as a youth, and was rumoured at one time to be pursuing a professional boxing career instead of his footballing career. Justin was an English footballer who played for a variety of clubs between 1978 and 1997. He rose to fame as a forward for Norwich City and became the first black player to command a £1m transfer fee when he joined Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest. He was known by his early clubs to be gay, and came out publicly later in his career, becoming the first professional footballer to be openly gay. He received a huge amount of animosity because of this. Sadly this coupled with allegations of sexual assault in Maryland USA in 1998, he fled back to London after he was questioned by a detective. Very sadly, he died by suicide two months later. His suicide note read: “I realised that I had already been presumed guilty. I do not want to give any more embarrassment to my friends or family.”

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