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My agony over gay brother —John Fashanu •Reveals: ‘I paid him to keep quiet but he broke our agreement’

By News Express on 31/10/2015

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Former Nigerian international footballer John Fashanu has spoken of his agony over the gay lifestyle of his late brother Justin, revealing how he responded to his brother becoming the first British football star to come out as gay – by paying him £75,000 to keep quiet.

The former Wimbledon striker unburdened his heart in his first in-depth interview about brother Justin since his tragic suicide in 1998. He told Britain’s Daily Mirror: “I begged him, I threatened him, I did everything I could possibly do to try and stop him coming out.

“I gave him the money because I didn’t want the embarrassment for me or my family. Had he come out now, it would be a different ball game.

“There wouldn’t be an issue, but there was then. Things are different now. Now he’d be hailed a hero.”

Justin shot to fame as a teenager with a stunning goal for Norwich in 1980 against a Liverpool team that included Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish.

Brian Clough lavished a £1million transfer fee – a record for a black player – on the England under-21 international to take him to Nottingham Forest. But he did not hit the heights expected.

In a newspaper interview in 1990, he claimed to have had an affair with a married Tory MP he met in a gay bar.

John, 53, whose daughter Amal is a very strong activist for gay rights, said: “I’ll never forget when Justin first told me. He called me in the evening time and said to me: ‘I’m gay’.

“Then he said to me: ‘I’m planning to go to a newspaper’. I said to him: ‘Oh heavens forbid... oh my God. We don’t need that. You’re mad’.

“He promised when I gave him the money he would not go out and say that. Two days later... bang... headlines in a newspaper. I looked like a sucker.

“For me and my family it was like Hiroshima or Nagasaki on our lives. It knocked us dead, it was a total shock.

“People might not like it, but I was trying to protect my family.

“You’ve got to remember the public’s perception of homosexuality at that time was that it was an abomination. It was taboo. Street boys were beating up gays in nightclubs.

“I give him credit for having the courage to come out and say it. But it caused a lot of confusion and animosity towards him, me, and my family.

“During matches, 30, 40, sometimes 45,000 supporters sang at me: ‘You’re big... you’re black... your a*** is up for grabs... Fashanu... Fashanu’.

“As a result of him saying what he said, my mother died because of the stress. She actually died a year later on the day of his birthday.

“She was already old, very fragile and suffering cancer.

“Then to be told her second eldest son was a homosexual was too much.”

•Photo shows John Fashanu.

Source News Express

Posted 31/10/2015 4:32:49 PM

 

 

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