Justin FashanuImage source, Getty Images
Image caption, Justin Fashanu was brought up by foster parents in a village near Attleborough in Norfolk

The life of the first top-flight professional footballer to come out as gay is the subject of a new drama. Two decades after his death, the ITV series may be able to shed light on what happened.

Image caption, Fashanu, in an undated photo from the 1990s, was wanted by police in the US at the time of his death

The Fashanu brothers were raised by white foster parents in Norfolk. He was spotted by a talent scout at the age of 13 and signed as a professional with the club at 17

More than 40 years ago, he won the goal of the season for his amazing strike against the Reds at Carrow Road.

He became Britain's first $1m black player when he joinedNottingham Forest in 1981.

Media caption,

He raised his index finger before being hugged by his teammates.

He scored just three league goals in his first season at Forest and was confronted by his manager over his visits to gay clubs.

He signed with the other side of the county for just over one hundred thousand dollars. His score sheet was not as good as it could have been, but by June 1985 he had joined the Seagulls.

He suffered a knee injury at the young age of 24. He stayed for just a few weeks at a number of English and North American clubs in the 1980's.

Fashanu's footballing career, marred by injury and apparent clashes with at least one manager, was on the decline when he came out to The Sun newspaper.

He said in a later interview that he wanted to be honest and tell the truth, not only to himself, but also to other people.

He became the target of constant crowd abuse for it, which he said he could cope with, but he took issue with clubs finding him too hot to handle as he just wanted to play football.

He had a trial withNewcastle United but was not given a contract and moved to the third division.

He was 37 years old when he died in a lock-up garage in London.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, Equal rights campaigner Amal Fashanu, pictured as a child with her uncle Justin (left) and father John, made a documentary about the issues he faced

Fashanu was the first top-flight footballer to come out as gay, and the only one to do so until Jake Daniels.

His heroism is overshadowed by tragedy. At the time of his suicide he was being questioned by police over an alleged sex assault in the US.

His niece made a documentary about the issues she faced and confronted her father about his attitude to her brother.

In 2020, she accepted his award. The World Cup in Qatar, where same-sex relationships are criminalised, has focused attention on the sport's attitude to the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer community.

Image caption, A giant rainbow banner of Fashanu was unfurled by Norwich fans to mark the 40th anniversary of his wonder goal

The life of Fashanu and his relationship with John will be told in the series.

It will be written by a Bafta-nominated writer and an actor and will tell the story of how John signed for the club where he made his name.

By the time of his death, John supersedes Justin as the "famous Fashanu" and the two are completely apart.

Their "tragic and irreconcilable" estrangement played out in the media will be chronicled in Fash's life story.

The series was created with the help of John, who was a consultant and friend of Peter.

John Fashanu said that drama of this type has an ability to dig into the heart and truth of events in a way other media can't.

I'mprivileged to be a part of it.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, Justin Fashanu, pictured in 1979, was inducted into the National Football Museum's Hall of Fame

It is thought that it is in the early stages of production.

Kwei-Armah was a fan of the Fashanu brothers. I was interested in them. inspired by them

My heart goes out to them. The past is a foreign land. They do things in a different way there.

I wanted to dive into that past in Fash because it has so many resonances today.

The life story needs to be told.

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