The niece of the late footballer Justin Fashanu is supporting a campaign in his memory to kick homophobia out of the sport.
Amal Fashanu, 21, who is a student at Brunel University in London, helped launched the Justin Campaign on February 19th, which would have been the Norwich City player’s 49th birthday.
He killed himself in 1998 and remains the only professional footballer to have ever come out as gay.
Amal, who is also an aspiring model and singer, told the Eastern Daily Press: “I’m very touched by the fact that some people are interested in my uncle. It’s his birthday and it’s been very helpful to know that other people are suffering his loss. He’s my uncle, my family, but I feel very touched other people are interested.
“I feel very, very proud. I can’t believe that there are people doing this and other people who are or were in his position feel that this campaign can help them and move things forward.”
She helped to launch a a day of community events in the city with Norwich FC’s chief executive David McNally.
Although the FA cancelled the launch of its own campaign to tackle homophobia, the Justin Campaign has gone ahead with its banner of Football v Homophobia, which community teams have supported.
BBC video: Amal Fashanu speaks about her uncle