Canaries fans unveil Fashanu banner as part of work to promote LGBT+ inclusivity at Carrow Road
PUBLISHED: 16:06 01 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:06 01 December 2018
Canaries fans have proclaimed Norwich is 'A Proud City' by unfurling a banner in memory of former player Justin Fashanu, as football unites to promote LGBT+ diversity.
Norwich City fan groups Along Come Norwich, Barclay End Norwich and Proud Canaries have produced the 10m by 5m banner with a an image of Fashanu, the first openly gay player in the English game, in his famous goal of the season celebration pose and shirt number nine in rainbow colours.
The banner was revealed ahead of kick-off as the Canaries took on Rotherham United in their latest Championship fixture at Carrow Road this afternoon.
Fashanu, who took his own life in 1998, scored his famous goal against Liverpool at Carrow Road in February 1980 – but is still the only top tier male player to come out as gay.
City have designated today’s game the club’s ‘Rainbow Laces’ game. The Stonewall campaign, a charity which campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, which aims to increase awareness of the need for active allies to LGBT+ people.
Di Cunningham, an organiser of Proud Canaries LGBT+ fan group, said: “I’m overwhelmed that the other fan groups have driven this, it’s a massive tribute to fan solidarity and inclusion. In Germany this sort of supporter led display of is standard – now that we’re a quasi German club it seems more than appropriate!”
Club sponsor Aviva, with Proud Canaries members, were handing out pairs of rainbow laces ahead of the game and offering slices of Rainbow cake baked in Delia Smith’s Carrow Road kitchen.
Jon Punt, of Along Come Norwich, said: “The Rainbow Laces campaign is one we’ve actively supported over the years and it seemed hugely appropriate that when we were trying to increase the amount of flags and banners in the stands that we marked this occasion.”
Andrew Lawn, also of Along Come Norwich, added: “Justin’s story is so pertinent to our club – a club which embraces all sections of society and creates an inclusive environment for its supporters to watch football matches. The words of the banner reflect the feeling in the stands.”