Manchester’s National Football Museum posthumously inducted Justin Fashanu, Britain’s first — and still, only — out gay male professional footballer, into its Hall of Fame yesterday.
Justin Fashanu, who took his life 22 years ago, would have been 59-years-old yesterday.
Born in Hackney, Justin and his brother spent some of their childhood in an orphanage. Foster parents took them in later.
Signed to a football team as a schoolboy, Justin proved one of England’s most promising young football talents. Consequently, he became the first black player signed for a million pounds.
As brave off the field as on, Justin came out as gay in 1990. That made him both the first —and last — British professional footballer to come out.
Justin Fashanu endured prejudice throughout his playing career both for his sexuality and the colour of his skin.
The Justin Fashanu Foundation
Justin’s niece, Amal Fashanu, co-founded The Justin Fashanu Foundation. The foundation highlights homophobia and other forms of discrimination in football.
Justin Fashanu was the first black footballer to earn a £1m transfer fee and also the first and only openly gay male player.
8 years after coming out he took his own life.
He’s now being inducted to the @FootballMuseum Hall of Fame and his niece gave her reaction on #BBCBreakfast pic.twitter.com/2jbx9Z9pJI
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) February 19, 2020
Amal accepted the award on her uncle’s behalf.
“This would have been Uncle Justin’s 59th birthday and what a way to celebrate it. He was so fun to be around and he would have been the life and soul of this event. It warms my heart to witness his legacy being honoured more than 21 years after his untimely passing.”
The induction coincides with LGBT History Month in Britain. At the same time, the National Football Museum will launch an LGBT+ Tour developed with a group of LGBT+ volunteers. It features objects from the museum’s collection which shed light on British football’s LGBT+ history.
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