|John Fashanu paid his brother Justin (pictured) £75,000 in a bid to prevent him from coming out as gay|
John Fashanu paid his brother Justin £75,000 in a bid to prevent him from becoming out as the first openly gay English professional footballer because he did not want his family to be embarrassed.
Former England Under 21 international Justin committed suicide in 1998, eight years after he first went public with a claim that he had an affair with a married Conservative MP. And now his brother has revealed the extent that he went to in a bid to stop the revelation that shocked British football.
|John says that he tried everything to convince his brother to keep quiet so as not to embarass their family|
|Justin (centre) committed suicide eight years after the revelation that shocked John (far right) in 1990|
Former Wimbledon striker John's shameful admission that he tried to buy his brother's silence having also threatened him come 17 years after he first slammed Justin, saying he would not want to be involved in the same dressing room as him.
'I begged him, I threatened him, I did everything I could possibly do to try and stop him coming out,' Fashanu told the Daily Mirror. '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's process of coming out led to a lot of stress within the Fashanu family. John says his already-fragile mother died because she could not cope, while he faced chants of: 'You're big, you're black, your a*** is up for grabs', at grounds across the country. He admits now that he was ignorant and wrong but wanted to protect his family and his own career. John is said to still believe that Justin - who once commanded a transfer fee of £1million was not actually gay.
John did not want to see his career damaged by the news that his brother, who once cost £1m, was gay
|John says that Justin would now be hailed as a hero and admits that his views back in the day were wrong|
|Former Wimbledon striker John (top left) says he was left to look 'like a sucker' when Justin came out|
'I'll never forget when Justin first told me,' Fashanu said. 'He called me in the evening time and said to me: "I'm gay". '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.'
Fashanu's revelations come amid reports that two Premier League footballers, including an England international, are planning to go public about being homosexual. Manchester United defender Luke Shaw, earlier this week, denied that he was one of the players involved. The pair are expected to make an announcement before the start of next season.
- Daily Mail