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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 21 January, 2020

Ched Evans completes return to Sheffield United after being found not guilty of rape

The striker will be playing in the Championship next season.

Evans previously scored 48 goals for the Blades.
Evans previously scored 48 goals for the Blades.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

SHEFFIELD UNITED HAVE completed the re-signing of striker Ched Evans on a three-year deal.

The 28-year-old returns to Bramall Lane for an undisclosed fee after spending last season with Chesterfield.

Evans was released by Sheffield United in 2012 after being convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman. He was sentenced to five years in prison but served half of that before his conviction was quashed. Following a retrial in 2016, Evans was found not guilty.

After a lengthy battle to clear his name, Evans was signed by League One outfit Chesterfield last summer and scored seven goals in 29 appearances for the club but it wasn’t enough to save them from relegation.

A return to Sheffield United was first mooted last month and the League One champions this afternoon confirmed that, after discussions at board level, Evans has put pen to paper on a long-term contract with the club.

“The signing is just one element of the plans we have drawn-up for next season,” manager Chris Wilder said.

“We have done our homework on the player. We pride ourselves on team spirit – as the fans have seen this season – and plan to bring in players who can be part of that.

“Ched comes to us with targets to achieve along the way. With a full pre-season with us we believe he can provide us with options up front and score goals.”

Evans originally signed for the Blades in July 2009 and scored 48 goals for the club, including 35 during the 2011/12 campaign.

“I am delighted to be back,” he said. “I still feel I have plenty to prove in football both at club and international level and I believe I can achieve those goals at United, playing in front of the terrific fans whose support I have always appreciated.

“I am very grateful to Chesterfield, the board and football management for giving me an opportunity to return to the game. It is just disappointing that it has come in a season which has seen the club suffer relegation. I would like to thank the Chesterfield fans who made me feel so welcome.”

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Ryan Bailey

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