Today, on what would have been his 59th birthday, we joined with members of the wider footballing community at the National Football Museum to celebrate Justin Fashanu’s inauguration into the Football Hall of Fame.
During his career Justin very publicly came out as a gay man and to this day remains the only male player to have done so in English football before retirement. He was also the first black player to be valued at over £1million and will always be remembered for his wonder goal of the season against Liverpool whilst playing for Norwich City in the 79/80 campaign.
Tragically Justin’s life was cut short when he took his own life but today we remember his contribution to the English game and recognise him as an inspiration to LGBT+ participants in football and the wider sporting world.
Rob Sanderson (Proud Canaries member & Pride in Football officer) said “it’s important to all of us within the LGBT+ movement in football to see Justin quite rightly recognised for his contribution to the game.
“Justin was more than just the first out gay male footballer but it is right that we remember he came out at a time that it was unheard of within football. As a result he suffered from homophobic abuse both on and off of the pitch, the lasting legacy of which is that we have yet to see another male footballer come out whilst still playing in the English game.
“We work with strategic partners such as the FA, EPL & EFL as well as with clubs across the U.K. to make football a safe and welcoming space for LGBT+ fans and to eradicate both LGBT+phobia and all other forms of discrimination from the game that we all love.”