John Fashanu

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John Fashanu
Personal information
Full nameJohn Fashanu
Date of birth(1962-09-18) 18 September 1962 (age 50)
Place of birthKensington, London, England
Playing positionStriker
Youth career
Norwich City
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1978–1983Norwich City7(1)
1982Miramar Rangers (loan)?(?)
1983Crystal Palace (loan)1(0)
1983–1984Lincoln City36(11)
1984–1986Millwall50(12)
1986–1994Wimbledon276(107)
1994–1995Aston Villa13(3)
Total383(134)
National team
1989England2(0)
Teams managed
2003–2004Fash FC
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
 
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John Fashanu
Personal information
Full nameJohn Fashanu
Date of birth(1962-09-18) 18 September 1962 (age 50)
Place of birthKensington, London, England
Playing positionStriker
Youth career
Norwich City
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1978–1983Norwich City7(1)
1982Miramar Rangers (loan)?(?)
1983Crystal Palace (loan)1(0)
1983–1984Lincoln City36(11)
1984–1986Millwall50(12)
1986–1994Wimbledon276(107)
1994–1995Aston Villa13(3)
Total383(134)
National team
1989England2(0)
Teams managed
2003–2004Fash FC
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

John Fashanu often referred to as Fash (pron.: /ˈfəʃɑːn/; born 18 September 1962) is an English television presenter and former professional footballer of Nigerian (paternal) and Guyanese (maternal) descent. In his former career, he was a centre-forward from 1978 until 1995, most notably in an eight-year spell at Wimbledon in which he won the FA Cup in 1988 and scored well over 100 goals in all competitions.

He also played for Norwich City, Miramar Rangers, Lincoln City, Crystal Palace, Millwall and Aston Villa. He scored 134 league goals in a career lasting 17 years. He was also capped twice at senior level by England, but failed to score on either occasion.

Following his football career he went on to co-host British television show Gladiators in the mid-1990s, and between 2003 and 2004 he managed his own Sunday league football side Fash FC on Bravo.

Contents

Early life

Fashanu was born in Kensington, London, the son of a Nigerian barrister living in the UK. When his parents split up he was sent, together with his older brother Justin to a Barnardo's home. When he was five, he and his brother were fostered by Alf and Betty Jackson and were brought up in Shropham near Attleborough, Norfolk.

Football career

Early career

Fashanu's footballing career began at Norwich City in 1979, and he turned professional two years later – just as his brother Justin was transferred to Nottingham Forest from the relegated Carrow Road club.

Norwich were promoted straight back to the First Division in 1981–82, but Fashanu managed just five league appearances and scored once. He managed two appearances in the 1982–83 First Division campaign – which would be his last for the club.

He had brief loan spell with Crystal Palace and also played in the English off-season in New Zealand with Miramar Rangers,[1] with whom he played in the final of the local equivaloent of the FA Cup, the Chatham Cup (he remains the only played to have played in the final of both the English and New Zealand major cup competitions). He joined Lincoln City on a free transfer on 23 September 1983, when they were in the Third Division. He scored seven goals from 26 league games that season, and managed four from 10 league games the following campaign before his £55,000 transfer to Third Division promotion challengers Millwall on 30 November 1984. It was an exciting first season at The Den for Fashanu, who scored four goals in 25 games but helped the Lions reach the FA Cup quarter-finals (where they lost at Luton Town in a game marred by fans who invaded the pitch) and secure promotion to the Second Division. He managed eight goals from 25 games in 1985–86, before leaving to join Wimbledon.

Wimbledon

Fashanu made a £125,000 move to Second Division promotion contenders Wimbledon in March 1986, when they were pushing for a third promotion in four seasons as they looked to complete a rapid rise from the Fourth Division to the First. At the time, he was the club's record signing.[2]

Fashanu's four goals from the remaining nine league games helped Wimbledon seal the final promotion place and they were a First Division side barely a decade after being elected to the Football League.

Fashanu and his colleagues settled well into the First Division, surprising all the observers by finishing sixth in the league (briefly topping the table in early September) and finishing above traditional big clubs including Nottingham Forest and Manchester United. Fashanu was Wimbledon's top scorer with 11 league goals.

In 1988, Fashanu helped Wimbledon win the FA Cup, beating Liverpool in a final that was billed as a "rags versus riches" affair, although the two clubs were separated by just six places in the First Division. He performed well in the league, scoring 14 goals.

He also scored Wimbledon's goal as Liverpool defeated them 2–1 in that year's Charity Shield. Fashanu claimed two England caps – against Chile and Scotland in a friendly tournament in May 1989.

During his time at Wimbledon, Fashanu scored 126 goals. His best season was 1990–91, when he was the First Division's second highest scorer with 20 goals as his side finished seventh.

He received criticism during the (1993–94) when a clash with Gary Mabbutt, then Spurs captain, in an aerial challenge left the Spurs defender with a broken skull and eye socket.[3] Fashanu had already established a reputation by that point of being an aggressive and physical striker, and this was seen as another example of that behaviour (at that time synonymous with Wimbledons "Crazy Gang").[3]

Aston Villa

On 4 August 1994, just before the start of the 1994–95 season, Fashanu was sold to Aston Villa for £1.35million. However, injury restricted him to just 13 games and 3 goals for a Villa side who narrowly avoided relegation that season. He managed a goal on his Villa debut when they drew 2–2 at Everton on the opening day of the Premier League season, his other two goals coming in successive games against Queens Park Rangers and then Nottingham Forest in January. [2]

Fashanu's last game was on 4 February 1995 away at Manchester Utd in a Premiership game that they lost 1–0. He said on CH4's "Come dine with me" that he went in for a 50/50 tackle with Ryan Giggs and that snapped his achilles and he was stretchered off and never played a professional game again.

After the end of the season, Fashanu retired as a result of injury. [3]

In 1995 he hit the front pages as well as the back when The Sun published allegations of match fixing against Fashanu, fellow Wimbledon player Hans Segers and Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar.

Although all three players were eventually cleared of the allegations, they were ordered to pay their own legal costs.

International career

Fashanu represented England at full International level gaining two caps – against Chile and Scotland in the 1989 Rous Cup, due to his good form at club level for his then club Wimbledon.

Post-football career

Following retirement from the game through injury, Fashanu became a television presenter. He presented the UK edition of Gladiators alongside Ulrika Jonsson in the mid-1990s where he became well known for his 'Awooga' catchphrase. In 2003 he came second in the second series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here!. Later that year he presented Fash's Football Challenge, a reality television show that followed Fashanu managing an amateur football team. Also in 2003, he fronted a six-part series for ITV1 based on the American format Man vs. Beast, however following protests from animal rights groups, the series was never broadcast. He also released a video "Focus on Fitness with Fash". He is now host of Deal or No Deal Nigeria, airing on M-Net Africa.

Since retirement Fashanu has also maintained his sporting connections, becoming involved with the Nigeria Football Association, and as chairman of Welsh football team Barry Town for a year, vacating this post in 2003.

In 2000, he also compiled, all with an investigator, a report on corruption in Nigeria in the 1980s and 1990s that came to be known as the Fashanu Report.[4] In 2003 he became the manager of his own Sunday league football team Fash FC as part of a television reality show.[5]1

In September 2005 Wimbledon Old Players’ Association was launched. John is involved in the Wimbledon Old Players' Association, an organisation set up by the Wimbledon Independent Supporters Association. He said: "It’s going to be great to be back as part of the Wimbledon family. As an ex-Wimbledon player, I know all about the heroics of the likes of Roy Law and Dickie Guy in the old days, as well as what the new boys have been doing at AFC Wimbledon".

In 2007, The Times named him 22nd out of the 50 worst footballers to have played in the Premier League.[6]

In August 2009, Fashanu, who in 2000[7] accused Bob Minton and Ibrahim Babangida of stealing money from Nigeria, apologized saying "I can say it again and again, that there was nothing like debt buy-back or any billions stacked away in any account anywhere."[8] Minton said that Fashanu was given false information by the Church of Scientology to attack him.[4][9][10]

In April 2011, he competed in Celebrity Total Wipeout and ultimately won, beating Calum Best and Chico Slimani in the Wipeout Zone and winning £10,000 for UNICEF.

Honours

Wimbledon

In pop culture

Personal life

Fashanu, who was the younger brother of Justin Fashanu, famously disowned his brother after the latter came out as gay, telling The Voice that Justin was "an outcast".[14] After Justin took his own life in 1998, Fashanu expressed remorse for abandoning his brother.[15] Fashanu has two sons, Amir and Akin, with former wife Ivorian model Melissa Kassa-Mapsi; the couple divorced in 2004 [16][17] Fashanu is now married to Nigerian lawyer Abigail Igwe, mother of former MBGN Adaeze Igwe.[18]

Notes

  1. ^ The IMDb page for the TV show "Football Challenge" on their website, this is incorrect and the show was actually called "Fash FC".

Fashanu has two Sons Amir and Akim and one Daughter Alana with the ex Ivorian Model Melissa Kassa-Mapsi

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Miramar Rangers website
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b White, Clive (26 November 1993). "Football: Mabbutt's skull fractured in Fashanu clash: Referee asks to view the match video". The Independent (London). http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football-mabbutts-skull-fractured-in-fashanu-clash-referee-asks-to-view-the-match-video-1506861.html.
  4. ^ a b "Nigeria: Senate backs debt buy-back to reduce external debts". Daily Independent. 2 July 2000. http://allafrica.com/stories/200007030508.html. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
  5. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382421/
  6. ^ The 50 worst footballers, The Times, 4 July 2007
  7. ^ "Nigeria: Tracking The Fashanu Report". Daily Independent. 10 April 2000. http://allafrica.com/stories/200004100236.html. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
  8. ^ "Nigeria: Fashanu in Public Court". Daily Independent. 18 August 2009. http://allafrica.com/stories/200908190485.html. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
  9. ^ "Season Of Apologies". The News Nigeria. 17 August 2009. http://thenewsng.com/nation/season-of-apologies/2009/08. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
  10. ^ The Nigeria Debate Xenutv recorded in 2000 (See 1:24 mark or the Q and A discussion)
  11. ^ "Magic Lunchbox Discography"
  12. ^ "Nonzero Records: Catalog"
  13. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLuaqNoxjro
  14. ^ "John Fashanu: My Gay Brother is an outcast". The Voice (GV Media Group). 30 October 1990.
  15. ^ Wilson, Jamie (29 May 2000). "Fashanu's guilt over suicide of brother". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/may/29/jamiewilson. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  16. ^ How Fash Got His Cash
  17. ^ The Curse of I'm a Celeb
  18. ^ John Fashanu married

External links

Media offices
New creationHost of Gladiators
1992–1996
with Ulrika Jonsson
Succeeded by
Jeremy Guscott and Ulrika Jonsson
Preceded by
Jeremy Guscott and Ulrika Jonsson
Host of Gladiators
1999–2000
with Ulrika Jonsson
Show ended.
Later revived
in 2008 with Ian Wright
and Kirsty Gallacher as hosts.