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Jim Read

Justin Fashanu. The Biography

Justin Fashanu. The Biography

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For over 20 years Justin Fashanu was the only professional footballer anywhere in the world who had come out as gay. This first account of his life shows how he dealt with this, but also the fan worship and the highs of being a footballer.

This biography shows how he survived the bullying of Brian Clough, public rejection by his brother, John, and abuse from the terraces. But it also tells of clubs eager to sign him, support from managers and teammates, and affection from supporters.

As a child, Justin Fashanu was put into care and eventually raised by white foster parents. He rose to fame as a forward for Norwich City and became the first black player to command a £1m transfer fee when he joined Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest.

Desperate for the wealth and celebrity he had lost, Fashanu’s attempts to sell fabricated sex scandals to the tabloid press ended in a humiliating exit from Britain.

Justin Fashanu was a charming man who became a reluctant pioneer. This flawed hero is a significant figure in football, in the story of black people in Britain and in gay history. This is the story of his fascinating life.

About the Author

Jim Read’s passions are for human rights, life stories and football. His previous publications have covered equal opportunities at work, the lives of people treated in the mental health system, and psychiatric drugs.

He is a Leicester City fan and contributor to The Fox fanzine.


Praise for the First Edition

This is an excellent biography of a man of great talent and self-belief who should’ve been able to live a happy and fulfilled life in his truth; to me, his tragedy is intrinsic to the hostility he faced. Justin Fashanu was one of few out black British public figures in his time, and he deserves to be remembered with the same dignity, respect and understanding Jim Read offers here.

Paul Mendez, novelist, screen writer and literary critic..

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