Norwich City legend Justin Fashanu’s niece delighted to see LGBT-friendly tournament at Carrow Road
PUBLISHED: 13:26 06 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:26 06 May 2018
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The niece of Norwich City’s Justin Fashanu has spoken of her delight after the stadium which her uncle used to grace hosted a tournament celebrating LGBT-friendly football.
Carrow Road was the venue for the Proud Canaries FC Cup Competition on Saturday, with 10 LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) teams from around the country competing on the turf in the inaugural competition.
The event was organised, alongside the club and sponsors Aviva, by Norwich City’s LGBT fans and friends group Proud Canaries - which fielded teams in the tournament.
Proud Canaries honorary patron Amal Fashanu, the niece of Norwich City star Justin - the only professional footballer to have come out as gay while still playing - was among those watching on.
She said it was an emotional experience to be watching the tournament at Carrow Road so close to the 20th anniversary of her uncle’s death.
She said: “This is a true honour. If Justin were still here I don’t think he’d have believed that the football club, Aviva and everyone were doing all this, that everyone would come together like this.
“On some days when I feel most positive, I feel we are on the cusp of major change, where we can make it so nobody cares about somebody’s sexuality, but on other days I think that, given it is now 2018, it has not changed enough.
“But groups like Proud Canaries and Stonewall are doing their bit and I feel the more we talk about it, the more people will realise that footballers are not robots, they are people.”
Di Cunningham, who founded Proud Canaries, said: “I do think that Norwich City Football Club are at the vanguard of bringing about change and things like this tournament are incredible.
“We’ve managed to generate three teams for the tournament and we only started in November, with eight people. It really took off when [Norwich City defender] Christoph Zimmerman came to one of our training sessions and more people started coming.”
Danny Nobbs, from sponsor Aviva, said it was great to celebrate diversity in football. He said; “We’ve got 10 teams competing in this tournament, which is a great start and we are really hoping that this will be the start of something even bigger.”