Fashanu on ITV's Good Morning Britain. ITV Youtube.
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Ex-England striker John Fashanu paid his brother Justin £75k to keep quiet about his sexuality

With the 20th anniversary of the death approaching, Fashanu has called on the FA to do more to support gay footballers.

EX-ENGLAND INTERNATIONAL JOHN Fashanu has opened up on the issues he had with his late brother Justin’s sexuality, admitting that he acted like a ‘monster’ towards him and paid him to keep it a secret.

Justin Fashanu, who played as a striker for both Nottingham Forest and Norwich in the 1980s, came out as gay before his death by suicide at the age of 37 in 1998.

John told ITV’s Good Morning Britain show on Wednesday that he paid Justin £75,000 (€85,990) to keep his sexuality a secret. He also spoke about their ‘sibling rivalries’ and how this was ‘another avenue to attack at him’.

“It was a lack of education,” he said.

“I make it very clear I was a monster to Justin then. I paid him £75,000 not to say that he was gay. It’s not something that I would do now. We’ve all moved on. Many, many mistakes were made there.

Justin was capped by England at U21 level and became the first black footballer to command a £1 million transfer fee when he signed for Nottingham Forest in 1981.

Good Morning Britain / YouTube

In 1990, he became the UK’s first openly gay footballer. There are currently no openly gay players in the Premier League, but Fashanu told ITV that he knows of several ‘well-known footballers’ who are gay and called on the FA to do more to support this.

“They don’t feel comfortable with the environment,” he continued.

“It is supporters, administrators… not so much the players because they know who is gay and who is not gay. They give each other support but it is quiet, gentle support.”

He also spoke about racial and homophobic abuse in English football and shared his own experience with a fan at a a recent Premier League game in London.

“A gentleman came up to me and just said, ‘You black so and so and your brother’s this, this, this’. I was surprised. I just thought, ‘Woah’. I hadn’t been to a match for a few years and I thought to myself, ‘My goodness me, even at this stage’.

Soccer - Football League Division One - Norwich City Photocall Justin Fashanu (file pic). Peter Robinson Peter Robinson

“I quietly smiled at him and tried to make a little laugh and a joke of it, but when we say has racism and homophobic situations, has it moved? Well, yes, it certainly has — backwards.”

“We need more support from the FA because it’s a lack of education. We’re pushing on the FA to come out and give more support. Create an environment where gay footballers are comfortable to come out and say ‘I’m gay’.”

Fashanu added: “Football — you’ve got to be a macho man, you’ve got to be a strong man. A lot of people would lose their careers (if they came out), sadly. They know that their empire will be destroyed.”

If you need to talk, contact:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email – (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

- Originally published at 10.30

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