Justin Fashanu inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame

access_time 2 years ago

England’s first and only openly gay professional footballer, the late Justin Fashanu, is to be inducted into the National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame at a special ceremony on Wednesday 19th February, what would be his 59th birthday.

Justin represented a number of football teams, including Leyton Orient in 1990, for whom he made a total of 5 appearances.

Fashanu’s niece Amal Fashanu, herself a high profile campaigner against homophobia in sport and founder of The Justin Campaign, will receive the award on his behalf at the museum in Manchester during LGBT History Month.

During a lengthy 20-year professional football, Fashanu played for teams including Nottingham forest, Norwich and Notts County, but his career was perhaps best known for his courageous decision to come out publicly in a tabloid interview with The Sun, in October 1990. In the three decades since, there has yet to be another professional footballer to follow suit.

He was also the first black footballer to command a £1million transfer fee with his move from Norwich City to Nottingham Forest in 1981, before continuing on to play for a total of 22 clubs in England, North America, Scotland and New Zealand.

National Football Museum chief executive Tim Desmond said: “The National Football Museum Hall of Fame aims to recognise a wide diversity of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the game.

Justin was a pioneer on many levels and with this award we acknowledge not only Justin’s legacy but also the importance of the LGBT+ community within football.”