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He made his league debut on 13 January 1979, against West Bromwich Albion, and settled into the Norwich side scoring regularly and occasionally spectacularly.
In 1980, he won the BBC Goal of the Season award, for a spectacular goal against Liverpool.
He scored 20 times in 64 games for the Magpies, although he was unable to prevent them suffering back-to-back relegations, before moving to Brighton & Hove Albion in June 1985 for a fee of £115,000, where a knee injury soon afterwards looked to have finished his career.
He went to the United States for surgery and began playing again, firstly with Los Angeles Heat and then to Canada with the Edmonton Brickmen and with the Hamilton Steelers.
In February 1993, with Torquay battling against a second successive relegation, from the new Division Three to the Football Conference, Fashanu applied for the vacant post of manager following Compton's departure but was turned down in favour of Neil Warnock.
Fashanu left Torquay, having scored 15 goals in 41 games for the Gulls.
"' At The Dell, Fashanu settled in well and his promising form helped the "Saints" overcome the sudden departure of Kevin Keegan; manager Lawrie Mc Menemy would have liked to make the move permanent, but was prevented from doing so by lack of funds.
In December 1982, he was sold to Forest's local rivals Notts County for £150,000.
In his autobiography, Clough recounts a dressing down he gave Fashanu after hearing rumours that he was going to gay bars. ' 'A butcher's.' 'So why do you keep going to that bloody poofs' club?
He signed for Torquay United in the Third Division on 23 November 1991.
He was the centre of fan and media attention while at Plainmoor: in particular, his relationship with Coronation Street actress Julie Goodyear featured in tabloid newspapers; but he still managed to impress on the pitch, playing 21 league games that season and scoring 10 goals, though he was unable to save Torquay from suffering relegation from the Third Division.
He managed a total of 103 senior appearances for Norwich, scoring 40 goals.
While at the club he was also capped six times for England at under-21 level, although the anticipated call-up to the senior side ultimately never happened.