I read an article in passing the other week but I’ve not had the opportunity to post something in relation to it until now. Since this is tribute to the departed this week it is appropriate to do this now.

This entry will be a sort of introduction/link to the next subject.

Justin Fashanu

Everyone I’m sure is familiar with what happened with Justin Fashanu.

It was sad when his own brother, John Fashanu, shunned him after he came out.
Plus the way the scummy tabloids went after him. Well… no surprise there…

But probably worst of the lot was at the hands of Old Big ‘Ead.
This is from The Justin Campaign:

…”Put up for adoption, aged three, when his parents divorced, Justin and younger brother John grew up in a leafy Norfolk village and both signed for First Division side Norwich City. Justin broke into the team aged just 17 and soon became a superstar, scoring the Goal of the Season against Liverpool in 1980 and 19 goals in 40 games during the 1980/81 campaign.

In 1981, Justin became Britain’s first black £1 million player when he joined Nottingham Forest, managed by Brian Clough. The move was a disaster: Justin didn’t fit their style of play, his form suffering after he discovered his homosexuality and became a born-again Christian in search of ‘forgiveness’, if not a cure.

Clough took exception to Justin’s style, spirituality and sexuality, famously confronting him at the training ground:

Clough: “Justin, where do you go if you want a loaf of bread?”

Fashanu: “The baker’s.”

Clough: “And where do you go if you want a leg of lamb?”

Fashanu: “The butcher’s.”

Clough: “So why do you keep going to that bloody poofs’ club?”

Clough banned Justin from the club, but the Football League ruled that there was no evidence supporting the suspension and Justin returned to training, to find that he still was not wanted.”

I read somewhere that Cloughy saw him and called the police to get him escorted off the ground.

Some years later Clough wrote of his regretful treatment in his autobiography.

At some point around this time (1981-82) for some reason* Justin decided to go into a recording studio and do a single.

*When is there ever a good reason for a football player to sing !

I’ve only got the A Side, would like to complete this and post the B side, even if it’s just an instrumental.
By the looks of the single cover below Justin beat Eddie Murphy at his game by a good few years.

» Justin Fashanu – Do It ‘Cos You Like It
Bit of an unfortunate title there…sounds a bit like Eddie Murphy too.

– The article I read was about a football team that’s been named after him – The Justin Fashanu All Stars. With the aim of promoting the inclusion of openly gay players in football. The team is sponsored by Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim).

– I also read some comments by John Amaechi, the first NBA baskeballer to come out as gay about Justin:

…”I don’t think you can take anything away from the abject bravery of what he did. I just think that he entered the storm completely alone.”

    “I looked at his experience as a bench mark for how bad it could get, because it wasn’t just the fans – a lot of what went on was the absolutely abominable news coverage.”

Even 10 years after Fashanu’s death, there are many adamantly insisting there are no gay players in Premier football.

» Full article

– To finish here is an audio clip done by Inter Ference talking about Justin and all the events at that time:

Inter Ference
» Inter Ference – Justin Fashanu

If you found this track via the Hype Machine and were expecting music but instead heard talking, I hope that you looked further and read about Justin Fashanu and his vilification.

It doesn’t matter how you live your life and it’s nobody’s business but your own.

» The Justin Campaign

September 2014: A Song for Justin Fashanu

One Reply to “A Life Less Ordinary”

  1. Brilliant.

    I hope you dont mind, but I’m going to use all of this as inspiration for a posting over at TVV soon enough.

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