Evans U-turn from Blades

Published: Thursday 20th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Sheffield United have decided to withdraw their offer to let former player Ched Evans train with the club due to the reaction it received.

The Blades last week controversially decided to accept the request of the Professional Footballers’ Association to allow the convicted rapist to train using the club’s training facilities.

Yet the announcement provoked considerable public outcry, with several well-known celebrities standing down as club patrons, while Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill said she would want the stand named after her at Bramall Lane to be removed if Evans were to be re-signed by United.

The criticism has prompted the club into a rethink as they said in a statement: ” 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.

“The club initially accepted a request from the PFA for Ched Evans to be able to train. The reaction to this has been at an intensity that could not have been anticipated when first announced.”

Evans’ attempts to resume his career at United, after serving half of a five-year prison sentence having been found guilty of rape in April 2012, have been hit by a string of protests.

Television presenter Charlie Webster, sixties pop star Dave Berry, musician Paul Heaton and Sheffield businesswoman Lindsay Graham all quit their roles with the club, while a petition against Evans rejoining attracted thousands of signatures.

Ennis-Hill’s statement led to the London 2012 gold medallist receiving abuse on Twitter.

The club added: “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.”

Published: Thursday 20th November 2014 by The News Editor

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