Nigerian-born late former England fringe international striker, Justin Fashanu on Saturday received a heartwarming post-humus honour from fans of his former club, Norwich City, as they brought back memories of a wonder goal scored by the power-playing attacker, megasportsarena.com reports.
Although Justin was not as famous as his younger brother, John, who fell out with his older sibling for going public to announce that he was gay, few years before he then committed suicide due to a social whiplash the confession brought upon him, Norwich’s fans still see the late star as an icon.
Such it was on Saturday, that The Canaries’ faithful rolled out a banner to mark the 40th anniversary of Fashanu’s wonder goal against Liverpool, which the team hosted on Saturday and, though they went on to lose their latest face-off 1-0, the home fans were all glee about one of their legends, regardless of what many other people say about him.
The banner was unfurled in the River End at Carrow Road before kick-off against Liverpool, to celeb rate one of the fond memories club fans still have about Fashanu, who began his career at Norwich, where he made his debut at the age of 17, and went on to play for Nottingham Forest, Notts County, Brighton, Torquay United and Aston Villa.
In one of his career highlights, Fashanu scored the sensational flick and volley in a First Division game at Carrow Road in February 1980 which Liverpool ended up winning 5-3. The strike went on to be named Goal of the Season and has become part of Norwich folklore.
The striker is also known for being the first male professional footballer to have come out as gay in Britain, and one of few worldwide ever to do so. Fashanu shared his story publicly in 1990, and continued to play league football in both England and Scotland for several years. Tragically, he died by suicide in 1998; Wednesday next week would have been his 59th birthday.
The 20-metre long banner commissioned by Norwich’s LGBT supporters group Proud Canaries, working with fellow fans Along Come Norwich and the Barclay End Norwich, was unfurled at the River End of Carrow Road shortly before kick-off in the Premier League match against Liverpool, which the visitors went on to win 1-0.
The vivid wording on the banner drawn by cartoonist and artist David Shenton describes the pass sequence that started with Kevin Bond and finished with the sweet flick and left-footed volley that sent the ball past Ray Clemence.
Shenton said: “Two years ago, I drew a massive artwork for Norwich Pride of LGBT+ icons nominated by the community. The most-voted-for person was Justin Fashanu – a man so treasured in this city especially by the football club for his artistry as a player, and by the LGBT+ community for his courage in not hiding who he was.”