Justin Fashanu

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Justin Fashanu
Surname Justinus Soni Fashanu
birthday 19th February 1961
place of birth LondonEngland
date of death May 2, 1998
Place of death ShoreditchEngland
size 185 cm
position striker
Years station
Norwich City
Years station Games (goals) 1
1979-1981 Norwich City 90 (35)
1980 →  Adelaide City  (loan) 5 0(3)
1981 → Adelaide City (loan) 6 0(2)
1981-1982 Nottingham Forest 32 0(3)
1982 →  Southampton FC  (loan) 9 0(3)
1982-1985 Notts County 64 (20)
1985 Brighton & Hove Albion 16 0(2)
1988 Los Angeles Heat
1989 Edmonton Brickmen 0(17)
1989 Manchester City 2 0(0)
1989-1990 West Ham United 2 0(0)
1990 Leyton Orient 5 0(0)
1991 Toronto Blizzard
Hamilton Steelers
1991-1993 Torquay United 41 (15)
1993 Airdrieonians FC 16 0(5)
1993 Trelleborgs FF
1993-1994 Heart of Midlothian 11 0(1)
1995 Atlanta Ruckus
1997 Miramar Rangers 18 (12)
1 Only league games are given.

Justinus Soni Fashanu (born February 19, 1961 in London , † May 2, 1998 in Shoreditch ) was an English football player . In 1990 he had his in the press coming out and was the first professional football player who dared during his professional gambler activity.


Fashanu was born the son of a Nigerian lawyer. He first played on the Under 21 team and received his first professional football contract with Norwich City in 1979 . When he moved to Nottingham Forest in 1981, he became the first black player to achieve a transfer fee of over a million pounds .

Fashanu did not perform as expected at the new club. His coach Brian Clough took inquiries about the private lives of his protégé and learned that Fashanu regularly in the gay scene of Nottingham wrong. The coach denigrated Fashanu in front of the assembled team as a "damn fagot ". In his autobiography, the trainer later wrote: “In retrospect, I don't think it was wrong to ask him about his sexual orientation. But I should have done it privately. ”() The coach's exposure course made matters worse, and athletic performance continued to deteriorate. In addition to the racist abuse from the audience, which was still common at that time, there were now homophobic abuse . He confided in his friend Peter Tatchell , whom he met in 1981 at the Heaven Club: "I get neither respect nor support from Clough." () Out of desperation, Fashanu announced to his coach that he wanted to get married soon, but this hardly impressed him: The trainer asked where Fashanu bought meat and bread, which he referred to butchers and bakers. Then Clough said, "Then why do you still go to that damn fagot club?" () Fashanu joined a Christian sect and tried unsuccessfully to suppress his homosexuality. A religious guru followed him at every turn, and he also had a private masseur. When he showed up for training with them, Clough asked him to leave. Even after being kicked, Fashanu refused to obey, and two policemen appeared on the square and took him away.

In the year and a half he had scored only three goals in 32 games and was sold to another club. Fashanu's sporting career did not recover from it; He played for a number of clubs, suffered a knee injury that did not heal well in 1983, tried his hand at playing and coaching in the USA and Canada from 1985 and ran a gay bar at the same time.

In 1989 he returned to Great Britain. After playing with the idea of ​​coming out for a long time , the suicide of a young friend who had been kicked out by his parents because of his homosexuality became the trigger to put it into practice. He was offered £ 80,000 by the tabloid The Sun , and his brother would offer him the same amount if he didn't. In October 1990 the Sun finally ran the headline “I am gay!”. This was followed by appearances on talk shows and other scandalous stories in the press, where he claimed, for example, that he had lovers among the Tory members of the House of Commons . Four years later, he was forced by the court to retract this claim. He admitted he was making this up to drive up the price of the story. After his coming out, a wave of incomprehension and contempt struck him from the black community. His brother referred to him in a newspaper interview as an "outcast".

After moving to the United States again, where he worked as a youth coach, Fashanu was accused on March 25, 1998 by a 17 year old boy from Maryland of having raped him while drunk. Fashanu has been interrogated, not taken into custody, but given prejudice by the press. He went into hiding and returned to Britain. There he heard that he was wanted by international arrest warrant and hanged himself in a garage. Months after his death, his suicide note was published in a BBC documentary:

"Hopefully if anyone finds this note, I'll be gone. Being gay and a public figure is tough. I want to say I didn't rape the boy. He willingly had sex with me, but the next day he asked for money. When I said no, he said, 'Just wait!' If so, I hear you say why did I run away? Well, justice is not always fair. I felt that I wasn't going to get a fair trial because of my homosexuality. You know what it's like when you panic. Before I cause further misfortune to my friends and family, I'd rather die. "

A judicial investigation on September 9, 1998 in London came to the result that there was no judicial arrest warrant against the athlete and that the US American police had stopped the investigation due to lack of evidence.

In his biography, Brian Clough admits years later that he feels complicit in Fashanu's death:

"I had a responsibility towards him because he was under my jurisdiction as the manager of the club, and I gave him nothing"

"I was responsible for him because he was my responsibility as a coach, but I didn't help him"

- Brian Clough

See also


  • Axel Schock & Karen-Susan Fessel: OUT! 800 famous lesbian, gay and bisexuals . Berlin: Querverlag, 2004. ISBN 3-89656-111-1 .
  • Brian Clough: Clough: The Autobiography , Partridge Press, 1994, ISBN 1-85225-198-0 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Queer.de: FIFA boss: "Gays, reveal yourselves!" , March 7, 2008
  2. a b c Robert Hummer: Clough vs. Fashanu in: Ballesterer No. 24 - October / November 2006
  3. http://premiership-and-more.blogspot.com/2009/03/justin-fashanu-all-stars.html