Evans to train with Blades

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Published: Tuesday 11th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Sheffield United are set to allow convicted rapist Ched Evans to train with his former club later this week.

Press Association Sport understands that the club have agreed to allow him to train in order to recover his fitness but there is no move by the Blades to re-sign the striker.

The 25-year-old Welsh international was released from jail last month after serving half of a five-year jail term imposed in April 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, North Wales.

Almost 157,000 people have signed a petition urging Sheffield United not to re-sign Evans and the campaign group Object said on Twitter: “Object stands in solidarity with the woman Ched Evans was convicted of raping and all other rape survivors affected by today’s news.”

But others, including the Professional Footballers’ Association, believe he should be allowed to play again.

It is understood the club had planned to issue a statement clarifying their position on Wednesday but this may be brought forward now the news has leaked out.

Evans denied raping the woman, saying the sex was consensual, but he was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

The prosecution said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald also admitted having sex with the victim but was found not guilty of the same charge.

An appeal against Evans’s conviction was rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in 2012. His case is due to be looked at by the Criminal Case Review Commission.

After his release, Evans released a video on his website protesting his innocence and vowing to clear his name.

He said: “It is my hope that I will be able to return to football.

“If that is possible then I will do so with humility, having learnt a very painful lesson.

“I would like a second chance.”

Sheffield United signed Evans from Manchester City for £3million in 2009 and he scored 42 goals in 103 games for the Blades, who released him a month after his conviction.

Published: Tuesday 11th November 2014 by The News Editor

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