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Sheffield United reverse decision to allow convicted rapist Ched Evans train with club

The club made the announcement in a statement this evening.

Sheffield United have now reversed their decision to allow Ched Evan train with the club.
Sheffield United have now reversed their decision to allow Ched Evan train with the club.
Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

FOLLOWING PRESSURE FROM supporters and patrons of the club, Sheffield United have tonight retracted the opportunity it had provided for its former player Ched Evans to train with the club.

Evans was released on licence this year having served two and a half years of a five year sentence after being found guilty of raping a 19-year old woman on a night out with team-mates.

The player, who has never apologised for his actions and maintains his innocence, was allowed train with Sheffield United after the club agreed to a request from the Professional Footballers Association which argued that he should be allowed resume his football career.

However, the decision saw a number of high-profile patrons such as Paul Heaton and Charlie Webster resign from the club and Olympic gold medalist Jessica Ennis-Hill ask for her name to be removed from a stand at Bramall Lane should he be offered a new contract.

In a statement this evening, the club said:

“Following the statement dated 11 November and after ongoing and extensive deliberation, Sheffield United Football Club has decided to retract the opportunity for its former player, Ched Evans, to use the Club’s facilities for training purposes, as was previously intended.”

It continues:

“We recognise that a number of our supporters will be disappointed with this decision, but would ask that they remember the responsibilities we have not only to a fine and proud Club, whose history stretches back over 125 years, but also to the communities in which Sheffield United is active and to the City we represent.”

The statement also outlines the club’s “disappointment” with some of the reporting around the Evans case but insists they will move on from this affair.

“The Club condemns rape and violence of any kind against women in the strongest possible terms. The Club is aware that Ched Evans is pursuing legal recourse via the Criminal Cases Review Commission in the determination he has to clear his name. We trust that he will be afforded a fair hearing.

“During this whole period, we have been served a timely reminder of what we have been throughout our history: Sheffield United is a Family and Community Club that, even in times of adversity, will remain strong and grow from its experiences.”

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Steve O'Rourke

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