Justin Fashanu story and Brian Etheridge story
Justin Fashanu would be an interesting topic as he was the first footballer to be openly gay in the United Kingdom. His story shows how homophobic football was in the 1980’s so I would do a story on if homophobia has changed since Fashanu came out. He was regularly abused by crowds and his brother, ex-Wimbledon star John Fashanu, also didn’t support him when he came out. Before he committed suicide, after he fled the USA following allegations of sexual assault on a 17-year-old, Justin admitted he “wasn’t fully prepared for the backlash.” My article would be about homophobia in football and see if it is a more inclusive game now. Also, including the exploitation of the tabloid press when he opened up exclusively to the Sun.
Brian Etheridge committed suicide in 2011, aged 67, he was a former professional footballer for Northampton, Brentford and Cercle Brugge as well as a non-league football manager. I would write a story about the lack of support for men’s, specifically footballers, mental health and the stigma around it. After his career, he worked as a businessman, and before he took his own life he was diagnosed with depression and tried to commit suicide before. I would see if there’s a link to depression after retiring and find/speak to other ex-pro’s who have felt depressed.