Justin Fashanu: Britain’s First Openly Gay Footballer Makes Hall of Fame

Britain’s first and only openly gay footballer, Justin Fashanu, is to be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Football Museum in Manchester this week, Sky Sports reported on Monday.

The former Norwich City and Nottingham Forest striker whose brother John was also a professional footballer, took his own life in 1998 aged 37, eight years after coming out publicly to the press.

After the suicide, his brother John expressed regret for disowning him because of his homosexuality – but later claimed he did not believe Justin was genuinely gay.

Justin Fashanu, whose move to Forest in 1981 made him the first black footballer to command a one million pounds transfer fee, will be recognised at a ceremony on Wednesday.

He will join more than 100 male players in the English Football Hall of Fame, which was set up in 2002 to honour those who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport.

His niece Amal, who runs The Justin Fashanu Foundation which highlights issues of homophobia and other forms of discrimination in football, will collect the award.

“I guess for Justin this would be a great moment and I think it’s a pivotal moment when we are finally recognising who Justin Fashanu was, not only as the openly gay footballer, but also as a very talented footballer and the first million-pound black player in England,” she told Sky Sports.