20th Century Celebrity of the Day

Footballer Justin Fashanu died 20 years ago today

Justin_FashanuJustin Fashanu was an English footballer who played for a variety of clubs between 1978 and 1997. His brother, John, was also a professional footballer and is now a TV presenter. He came out to the press later in his career, becoming the first professional footballer to be openly gay. He was also the first black footballer to command a £1million transfer fee, with his transfer from Norwich City to Nottingham Forest in 1981, but had little success as a player afterwards, although he continued to play at senior level until 1994. After moving to the United States, in 1998 he was questioned by police when a 17-year-old boy accused him of sexual assault. He was charged, and an arrest warrant for him was issued, but he had already left the US. According to his suicide note, in which he stated that the sex was consensual, he feared he would not get a fair trial because of his homosexuality.


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