EX-FOOTBALLER John Fashanu has posted an emotional tribute to his late brother Justin after opening up about his death on Celebrity SAS.
John, 57, shared the moving poem to his Instagram page on the anniversary of Justin’s death in 1998.
Justin died by suicide at age 37 after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old in the US, a claim he denied in his suicide note.
He was Britain’s first openly gay top-flight footballer, who became the sport’s first black £1million player, at Nottingham Forest in 1981.
His brother who is starring on reality TV show Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins recently opened up on the show about losing Justin.
John remembered: “My brother Justin and I grew up in a home, we were fostered, they fostered us in Norwich.
“We were the only black kids in the whole of Norwich, the racial abuse was pretty heavy.
“He was a wonderful footballer, but he was gay. We could not accept that at all as a family, the whole family, he was outcast with a big boot.”
John also admitted he had tried to pay Justin off so that he would not come out of the closet.
He said: I paid him a substantial amount of money to not come out and say he was gay.
“It was too much, I found it impossible, unfortunately, he decided he couldn’t go on. God rest his soul, he committed suicide and decided that as the best way out for himself.”
Following that admission, John penned a moving poem in honour of Justin’s memory.
It read: Life is just like a wave.
Justin was Britain’s first openly gay top-flight footballer and the sport’s first black £1million player[/caption]
You cannot change the way it breaks,
But you can choose the way you ride it.
Today I choose to celebrate your life
In loving memories..
In silent thoughts..
In secret tears..
And in soft smiles.
I suppose, time did ease the edge of grief but I tell you what bro,
Tonight, I will fall asleep with you in my heart hoping that once again,
I can hear you cheer and toast.. to the boys,
to the beach,
to the blue sky,
to dreams and goals,
and to playing in the sand.’
Fans loved the tribute and praised John on Instagram.
One user wrote: “Always with you .. watching you from the stars above.”
While another added: “Beautifully written JF.”
A third said: “Beautiful. You and Justin were such lovely lads. My mum loved teaching you both.”
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John has also been causing waves on the reality series after having to be dragged off a fellow competitor for choking him.
He got Rudimental DJ Locksmith in a headlock after he named the former Wimbledon “Crazy Gang” striker the weakest in the group.
The pair had to be separated by the Channel 4 show’s chief instructor Ant Middleton, 39.
The flare-up happened during a game of “murderball” where contestants had to fight for possession of a tyre and push it over the opposing team’s goal line.
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