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Justin Fashanu

Justin Fashanu
Norwich Career: 1979-1981 (103 appearances, 40 goals) 
Current Club: Deceased
Date of Birth: 10/02/1961 
Nationality: English


For a player whose early career showed so much promise, Justin Fashanu can be disappointed with the end results.

A youth team product, Justin made his debut for Norwich against West Brom on 13th January 1979, seventeen days after signing professional terms. In the next two years, he made 103 appearances (six as substitute). In this period he scored 40 goals including the 1980-81 BBC Goal of the Season against Liverpool. England Under 21 caps followed and he attracted the attention of the big clubs. He became Norwich's second £1 million pound sale when he joined Nottingham Forest in August 1981 (the first being Kevin Reeves). He failed to fit in with Brian Clough's regime and scored just three times in 32 appearances.

The next summer he joined Southampton on loan and recaptured his goalscoring form with 3 goals in 9 matches. Staying in Nottingham, he joined Notts County in December 1982 and played 64 games for them scoring 20 goals. A move to Brighton in 1985 was less successful as he suffered a terrible knee injury. He moved to the USA for surgery and recuperation with the Los Angeles Heat and Canadian side Edmonton Brickmen. He returned to Britain in August 1988 and over the next three years had unsuccessful trials with Manchester City, West Ham, Ipswich, Leyton Orient and Newcastle. Non-league football with Southall (as player-coach) and Leatherhead provided regular playing opportunities. He joined Torquay United in December 1991 as player and then assistant manager. Hoping for the manager's position, Neil Warnock's appointment led to Justin's resignation. The Torquay board's reluctance to appoint him to this position may have been due to his poor disciplinary record (3 red cards in 46 games) or his regular appearances in the Tabloids. His bisexuality made him famous as he told of relations with Soap Opera star Julie Goodyear (Coronation Street's Bet Lynch) and threatened to bring down the government by revealing the sexual peccadilloes of many leading politicians.

A spell in Scotland followed with Airdrie and Hearts before a recent move to New Zealand with Mirramar Rangers. 11 goals in 18 starts for the New Zealand side was an impressive record but Justin continued to seek playing football at a higher level. In the spring of 1997 he joined American side Atlanta Ruckus. One team opposing them in the A League (the USA's second division) were the Carolina Dynamos who field former Canary Robert Rosario.

Justin's suicide was found on Sunday May 3rd 1998 in a warehouse in East London. He had fled the US in disgrace accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy. Justin fled Maryland where he was coach of the new A league side Maryland Mania. After returning to London and visiting a gay club, he slipped away and hung himself. .

Justin was added to Norwich City's Hall of Fame in February 2011, days before what would have been his 50th birthday

In September 2013, Nick Baker published a book about Fashanu entitled Forbidden Forward. It is published by Reid Publishing and can be found in Waterstones or ordered via www.justinfashanustory.com

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