John and Justin Fashanu's lives to feature in ITV drama Fash

John Fashanu and Justin Fashanu's stories will feature in an ITV drama series. (Getty)
John Fashanu and Justin Fashanu's stories will feature in an ITV drama series. (Getty)

An ITV drama series is set to explore the lives of footballing brothers John and Justin Fashanu, and how they became estranged from each other before Justin's death.

Fash will air on ITV with John Fashanu and Peter Tatchell serving as consultants on the series which is written and directed by playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah.

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Programme information reads: "In 1981, at 20 years old, Justin Fashanu signs to Nottingham Forest, becoming the first Black British footballer to be sold for £1 million, becoming one of the most celebrated men in British sport. In 1990, he is the first professional footballer to publicly come out as gay. In 1998, with his football career in tatters and ostracised by his family, Justin commits suicide.

UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 26:  Justin Fashanu (1961-1998) (centre) about to cut his birthday cake, which is shaped like a football boot and football. His brother John Fashanu is shown far right. Justin made his professional debut for Norwich City in 1979 and became Britain�s first million pound black footballer when he moved to Nottingham Forest in 1981. In 1990 he come out as a homosexual and committed suicide in 1998.  (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
Justin and John Fashanu in 1981. (Getty Images)

"In 1981, Justin’s younger brother John signs to Norwich City, the same club at which his brother made his name. Over the next few years, as his younger brother’s star fades and life becomes mired by pitch-side rumour and front-page tabloid exposés, John supersedes Justin as the famous Fashanu. In 1998, when Justin dies, the two are wholly estranged."

The series will tell the story of how both brothers' dangerous ideas of masculinity affected their lives and includes a timeline from a childhood spent in Dr Barnado’s care homes in the care of a white foster family, to footballing stardom and media scrutiny.

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It will expose the racism and homophobia entrenched in football and the hatred stoked by tabloid media that saw their estrangement played out in front of the country.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 21:  John Fashanu attends the UK Premiere of 'The Lone Ranger' at Odeon Leicester Square on July 21, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
John Fashanu is a consultant on the series. (WireImage)

John Fashanu said: "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."

Series creator Kwei-Armah said: "I grew up watching the Fashanu brothers. I was fascinated by them. Inspired by them. As an adult, my heart breaks for them. ‘The past is a foreign land’, the saying goes, ‘they do things differently there’. In Fash, I wanted to dive into that past, particularly one that has so many resonances with today."

Peter 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."

Former EastEnders showrunner Dominic Treadwell-Collins, whose credits also include A Very English Scandal, serves as executive producer.