Sky Documentaries acquires Justin Fashanu doc

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Fulwell73, the production company behind Bros: After The Screaming Stops, Sunderland ‘Til I Die and The Late Late Show has completed a deal with Sky Documentaries to acquire UK distribution rights to its award-nominated feature-length documentary film Forbidden Games: The Justin Fashanu Story which was co-produced with London based production company, Gospel.

Having previously launched on Netflix, the documentary will air on Sky Documentaries and made available on Sky platforms in the UK from December 2020.

Forbidden Games: The Justin Fashanu Story chronicles the tragic, true story of Justin Fashanu, the first – and only – footballer to come out as a gay man whilst playing professional football and 25 years on remains the highest profile footballer to come out.

The documentary chronicles Fashanu’s legacy of becoming the first £1 million black footballer in the 1970s signed to Nottingham Forest and the years of personal struggle, bullying, bigotry and abuse he endured from the terraces, his teammates, trainers and even his own brother as he went from teenage sensation to descending into a dark and murky world of lies and deception.

Contributors to the film include some of the best-known figures in football including Justin’s brother and former player John Fashanu, former football, manager and well-respected pundit and commentator John Barnes, and former England manager Glenn Hoddle. It was directed by Gospel’s Jon Carey and Adam Darke, produced by Fulwell 73’s Leo Pearlman and Heather Greenwood and executive produced by Fulwell’s Ben Turner and Gabe Turner.

The deal with Sky Documentaries was brokered by Content Now Studios who are handling all international sales rights to the project.

Fulwell73 partner Leo Pearlman said: “The story of Justin Fashanu is one of fame and fortune and incredible tragedy. To see how a superstar of the game was so poorly treated at the hands of bullies and bigots resonates just as much today as it did 25 years ago. In spite of all he went through, Justin’s battle with issues of race and sexuality became a catalyst for real change. So we’re really pleased to be able to bring this documentary to Sky after its airing on Netflix to ensure Justin’s legacy lives on and his story is never forgotten.


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