February 26, 2014

Justin had been a promising teenage boxer, twice a British Amateur Junior Heavyweight finalist when he was 14 and 15. He could have a been contender, but for the persistence of a scout at local soccer club, Norwich City — a quintessential small town team nicknamed the Canaries -- who persuaded him he could have a career in soccer. Justin was signed as an apprentice and spent his school holidays honing his skills with the pros.

Justin Fashanu, center, proved to be a challenge for opposing defenders while at Norwich City.
Press Association
Justin Fashanu was a star scorer at Norwich City, earning a lucrative transfer to Nottingham Forest.
Press Association

It was into this primitive social flux that Justin Fashanu flexed his muscles for his first full season with Nottingham Forest. It was to prove to be an unmitigated disaster.

A combination of size, strength and technique made Justin Fashanu, center, a sought-after target.
Press Association
Justin Fashanu's family, brother John and niece Amal, have offered differing opinions on his life and legacy.
Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

Davy Lane is a political sports blogger writing about Uruguay and the African diaspora. You can follow him on Twitter at @LosCharruas or at davidpatricklane.com.

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