Monday, 2 May 2011

Justin Fashanu Day

Today marks 13 years since Justin Fashanu was found dead hanging in a garage in south London.

The life of the UK's first and only openly gay footballer was turbulent to say the least.

An amazing talent on the pitch, his career was marred by a torrent of abuse and "banter" about him publicly accepting who he was.

To mark occasion and to remember him, The Justin Campaign has organised a series of events.

A tournament yesterday including the invitational Justin Fashanu Allstars reminded people that football is a game for all to enjoy. It included Aslie Pitter MBE, of Stonewall FC, who is also a patron of The Justin Campaign.

Today, we have also unveiled a new page on the website which will be a tribute to Justin.

As well as information about his career, it has tributes from top football writers such as Henry Winter, LMA's Frank Clark, Peter Tatchell and his niece Amal Fashanu.

As part of ongoing work around educating people about the subject, campaign volunteers will also be going to a speak to school children about the work we do in ridding homophobia from the beautiful game.

Justin's death was a tragic end to one of the most talented footballers of a generation.

While he and others helped raise awareness about the subject, homophobia in football is still a massive taboo.

Yes progress has been made but more needs to be done before other players feel comfortable in publicly accepting who they are.

This is why we will continue to remember Justin Fashanu.

Did you know Justin? How did his news of his death affect you? Please leave tributes and comments below.

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