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With just three days to go before February 19th - Football v Homophobia day, The Justin Campaign and Norwich City have joined forces for the unveiling of Justin Fashanu's banner in Norwich City FC's Hall of Fame at Carrow Road. Jason Hall (founding director of The Justin Campaign) holding banner with David McNally (NCFC Chief executive).
Friday, February 18, 2011
Former Norwich City football star Justin Fashanu has had his hall of fame banner unveiled at Carrow Road just days before what would have been his 50th birthday.
The move to make a banner for Justin has also been hailed as a victory for campaigners battling to kick homophobia out of football.
Justin, who scored 40 goals for the Canaries - including his famous strike against Liverpool in 1980 - in 103 appearances for the club between 1979 and 1981 had to contend with homophobia, prejudice and discrimination throughout his career. He died in 1998 taking his own life in a garage in Shoreditch, London.
Since his tragic death the Justin Campaign has been set up in his honour to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions that exist around gay men in soccer.
Members of the campaign joined bosses at Norwich City Football Club for yesterday’s unveiling of the banner, which is expected to be installed in time for City’s clash with Doncaster on Tuesday, comes just days before a Football v Homophobia day which will be held on Saturday.
David McNally, chief executive of Norwich City Football Club, said: “Justin is a worthy member of the hall of fame with more than 100 appearances for the club and 40 goals at the highest level and in his day was a real star for the football club.”
Mr McNally said both he and the football club were happy to support the Justin Campaign in its objectives because homophobia had no place in football or at Carrow Road.
He said: “Discrimination of any kind shouldn’t be accepted in any form of society and especially at the football club.
“We deplore racism of any kind and will do all we can to help the Justin Campaign and the people from Norwich Pride achieve their aims and if it means together we can kick homophobia from this great game of ours and this great club then all well and good.”
Jason Hall, a founder of the Justin Campaign, said he is pleased that Norwich City have pledged its support to a campaign which has now been acknowledged by both the FA and UEFA.
He said: “Norwich have really been so supportive of the initiative. Brighton give us a lot of support, but it’s great for us that Norwich, which hasn’t got a huge gay community, is taking on something like this that they feel they feel they have a duty to do.
“Norwich City nurtured a fantastic footballer - the world’s black first £1m player - a tremendous talent. It’s been a long time coming for Justin to be put in the hall of fame but he fully deserves it.”
Mr Hall said details about Football v Homophobia day have been sent to all football league clubs to be included in matchday programmes on Saturday.
Meanwhile a football tournament to mark the event is being held at Norwich City’s Carrow Park, near Carrow Road, on Saturday from 3.30pm.
To find out more about the Justin Campaign or how you can get involved log on to www.thejustincampaign.com