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Monday, May 4, 1998 Published at 04:32 GMT 05:32 UK


More tests after Fashanu death
image: [ The former soccer star has been found dead, aged 37 ]
The former soccer star has been found dead, aged 37

Scotland Yard have said it will be Tuesday at the earliest before they know how the former footballer Justin Fashanu died.

Norwich striker Justin Fashanu scores his celebrated goal against Liverpool (0'10")
An initial post-mortem examination proved inconclusive. More tests are being carried out to try to establish the cause of death although police believe he committed suicide.

The 37-year-old, whose body was found in a lock-up garages in east London, had been on the run from police in the United States after being charged with the sexual assault of a teenager.

BBC Correspondent David Sillitoe: "It's believed he hanged himself" (1'27")
Justin Fashanu had been charged with sexually assaulting the young man after a party at his apartment in Ellicott City, Maryland.

According to Maryland police, the student woke up in Fashanu's bed after a drinking session to find him allegedly performing a sexual act.

[ image: The apartment building in Maryland where Justin Fashanu lived]
The apartment building in Maryland where Justin Fashanu lived
When police went to his flat to carry out a forensic search, they discovered his clothes and personal possessions were gone. They believed he had fled the country.

Fashanu, who was openly gay, had denied the charge.

The former professional striker had moved to the US earlier this year to coach the newly-formed Maryland Mania soccer team.

Fashanu had played in the English First Division, now the Premiership, for Nottingham Forest and Norwich.

Brother's reaction

He also had spells at Manchester City, West Ham, Leyton Orient, Newcastle and Torquay United.

A statement read by John Fashanu's solicitor said: "John is absolutely distraught at this tragic time. He is truly shocked and distressed by the news of his brother's death.

Paul Royall tells BBC News 24: "He apparently had the world at his feet" (2'55")
"Although there were periods of disagreement between them there were also many occasions when they have enjoyed special times together.

"John and his family ask that they be allowed to grieve in private." On Friday John Fashanu said he had not seen his brother for seven years.

BBC Reporter Paul Royall, who followed Justin Fashanu's career, said that as a teenage striker with Norwich City he was a one of the "big up-and-coming players of his generation".


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