The life of Britain’s first openly gay footballer Justin Fashanu is set to be explored in ITV’s upcoming drama, Fash.
According to Deadline, the new TV series is set to explore the lives of the beloved athlete and his brother John Fashanu, as well as their experience with racism and the tabloid gossip that fueled their estrangement.
The drama will also highlight Justin’s tragic death and the homophobia he faced after coming out.
BAFTA-nominated writer Kwame Kwei-Armah has been tapped to write and direct the sure-to-be emotional series – with John and Peter Tatchell attached as consultants.
In a statement, Kwei-Armah opened up about his admiration for the brothers and what he hopes to explore in the forthcoming project.
“I grew up watching the Fashanu brothers. I was fascinated by them. Inspired by them. As an adult, my heart breaks for them. ‘This past is a foreign land,’ the saying goes, ‘they do things differently there.’ In Fash, I wanted to dive into the past, particularly one that has so many resonances with today,” he explained.
John and Tatchell echoed similar sentiments in additional statements.
“Much has been said and written about the relationship Justin, and I shared over the years, but drama of this type has an ability to delve right to the beating heart and truth of events in a way other media can’t. I feel privileged to play a part in bringing it to the screen,” John said.
Tatchell added: “This is a powerful, moving life story that needs to be told. I am very honoured to act as a consultant to the production team, based on my friendship with Justin Fashanu in the 1980s.”
Throughout Justin’s expansive career, the beloved footballer made numerous headlines for his professional and personal life. In 1981, he became Britain’s first £1 million Black footballer.
Nearly 10 years later, he shocked the world when he came out as gay in a 1990 interview with The Sun under the headline: “£1m Football Star: I AM GAY.”
Unfortunately eight years after his groundbreaking announcement, the talented footballer took his own life at the age of 37.
As of this writing, a release date for Fash has yet to be announced.