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Sports Jonny Evans: Manchester United’s injuries are NOT Louis van Gaal's fault

United have suffered a staggering 40 different injuries this season but Evans says the majority of them have stemmed from "freak" incidents.Evans, back in contention for a first team recall against Hull on Saturday after two months out with a foot injury, said: "There have been quite a few hamstring and groin injuries," he said, "but [Marcos] Rojo dislocated his shoulder, Ander Herrera cracked a rib and I had a fracture in my foot."And there were a couple of other injuries .

United have suffered a staggering 40 different injuries this season but Evans says the majority of them have stemmed from "freak" incidents.

Evans, back in contention for a first team recall against Hull on Saturday after two months out with a foot injury, said: "There have been quite a few hamstring and groin injuries," he said, "but [Marcos] Rojo dislocated his shoulder, Ander Herrera cracked a rib and I had a fracture in my foot.

"And there were a couple of other injuries ? Phil Jones has got one [shin splints] that came out of the blue.

"They're freak injuries and it's difficult from that point of view. Players don't get injured on purpose.

"We don't want any more injuries but what can we do about it? It'd be nice to get settled in the team ? everyone in the squad wants to get settled in their position as well."

While Evans is fit again after playing 64 minutes for United's reserves on Tuesday, Luke Shaw ? who missed the first month of the season with a torn hamstring ? is set for another lengthy lay-off after going over on his ankle at Arsenal on Saturday.

"It's nice to get 60-odd minutes under my belt," added Evans. "It's been a long time coming."

Express
27/11
4 Points
1

Sheffield United co-chairman claims 'mob-like behaviour' caused ban of rapist Ched Evans

Jim Phipps said that he was "angry" that the League One club was not able to allow their former striker to train at their facilities.

Speaking at a news conference, Mr Phipps said: "The influence of mob-like behaviour has made it difficult to take the simple step of allowing Ched to train."

He added: "I'm angry that we are not able to get a chance to do for this footballer what should be done. 

"I'm upset that we are not able to do what we wanted to do, but I acknowledge that my view is not the only view."

The club announced yesterday that they would no longer allow Evans to use their club's training facilities.

Several patrons of the League One team quit over Evans' return to training.

Charlie Webster, Dave Berry, Paul Heaton and Lindsay Graham all resigned from their positions at Sheffield United.

Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill also said that she wanted her name removed from a stand at the club if Evans was re-signed.

Evans was jailed for raping a woman at a hotel in Rhyl in 2011. 

An appeal against conviction was rejected in 2012 but his case is due to go to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

The 25-year-old footballer was freed from prison last month after serving two-and-a-half years.

Almost 166,000 people have signed a petition urging Sheffield United not to re-sign him.

Express
22/11
3 Points
1

Sports Sheffield United co-chairman BLASTS critics over Ched Evans stance

The Blades had originally agreed to a request from the Professional Footballers' Association to let their former striker use the club's facilities in order to aid his rehabilitation following his release from prison last month.

But after a public backlash that saw several club patrons resign from their roles and Sheffield Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill request that her name be removed from a Bramall Lane stand should Evans be re-signed, Phipps admitted the Blades had no choice but to do a U-turn after the "influence of mob-like behaviour".

He also claimed the patrons' actions and comments had "exacerbated the dragging of the club's name through the mud".

United announced their decision to retract the offer to Evans on Thursday night, but Phipps insists the club stand by their view that footballers should be given the same right of rehabilitation as other offenders.

"The influence of mob-like behaviour has made it difficult to take the simple step of allowing Ched to train," he said.

"I will acknowledge that our decision to not let Ched train is probably a decision that will make it harder for him to get on with his football career in the immediate future.

"The people who believe that Ched should be punished for the rest of his life might call that a victory.

"I think of it as a defeat for the principle that punishment under the justice system should be left to those that are authorised by law.

"It is not fair to treat a footballer differently, they should have a right of rehabilitation like everyone else. We are not ashamed of that view in the slightest."

The decision to allow Evans to train with the Blades provoked considerable public outcry, with television presenter Charlie Webster, sixties pop star Dave Berry, musician Paul Heaton and Sheffield businesswoman Lindsay Graham all quitting their roles as club patrons. A petition against Evans rejoining attracted over 165,000 signatures.

But Phipps believes those speaking out against the Blades must take some of the blame for tarnishing the club's reputation.

"Sometimes I think those who call themselves fans of the club but who have handled the matter the way they have, have actually exacerbated the dragging of the club's name through the mud," he added.

"But I am happy to accept my responsibility for having been prominent among those who ultimately agreed to the course of action we took."

Express
22/11
3 Points
1

Sports Sheffield United BAN convicted rapist Ched Evans from training after 'intense' backlash

The League One club have withdrawn their offer to let the Wales striker train with them after his release from prison.Evans, 25, was freed in October after being found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in May 2011.

The League One club have withdrawn their offer to let the Wales striker train with them after his release from prison.

Evans, 25, was freed in October after being found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in May 2011. He was convicted in 2012 and given a five-year prison sentence.

Evans, 25, was one of United's star players before his conviction and looked set to rejoin the Bramall Lane club after they agreed to a PFA request to let Evans train with the squad.

Three club patrons have resigned over the matter, shirt sponsors DBL Logistics have threatened to end their deal with the club and Olympic gold-medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill demanded her name be removed from a stand at Bramall Lane.

A club statement released last night said: "We have decided to retract the opportunity for 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, who joined the Blades from Manchester City for £3m in 2009, continues to plead his innocence.

Some Blades fans have sung his name at recent matches but United's statement continued: "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."

Express
21/11
18 Points
1

Sheffield United WITHDRAW offer to allow rapist Ched Evans to train with them

The club has retracted its offer to let Evans use their facilities, following a huge backlash at his return.

Several patrons of the League One team quit over Evans' return to training.

Charlie Webster, Dave Berry, Paul Heaton and Lindsay Graham all resigned from their positions at Sheffield United.

Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill also said that she wanted her name removed from a stand at the club if Evans was re-signed.

A statement on Sheffield United's website tonight said: "Following the statement dated 11th 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.

"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 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.

"As noted in previous statements from the Club, the legal system of this country provides for both the punishment and the rehabilitation of every person who has been found guilty of a crime. 

"Sheffield United will not be used to promote the view that professional footballers should be treated differently, as has been the want of certain sections of the media and various commentators. 

"In addition, we remain disappointed at some of the inaccurate reporting, misinformed views and commentary, as well as the actions of a minority of individuals on social media. Professional footballers must be treated as equals before the law.

"The Club condemns rape and violence of any kind against women in the strongest possible terms."

Evans was jailed for raping a woman at a hotel in Rhyl in 2011. 

An appeal against conviction was rejected in 2012 but his case is due to go to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

The 25-year-old footballer was freed from prison last month after serving two-and-a-half years.

Almost 166,000 people have signed a petition urging Sheffield United not to re-sign him.

Express
20/11
20 Points
1

Sports Monday Focus: Sheffield will march on united with or without Ched Evans

Should Ched Evans, a convicted rapist who has shown not a hint of remorse since being released from prison, be handed a chance to rebuild his professional football career. After his spell behind bars ended last month (he served half of his five-year sentence), Evans said he regretted his "act of infidelity" with a 19-year-old woman at a North Wales hotel in 2011. There was no apology in a contrived video statement as he begged for a "second chance" in football.A storm brewed.

Should Ched Evans, a convicted rapist who has shown not a hint of remorse since being released from prison, be handed a chance to rebuild his professional football career?

After his spell behind bars ended last month (he served half of his five-year sentence), Evans said he regretted his "act of infidelity" with a 19-year-old woman at a North Wales hotel in 2011. There was no apology in a contrived video statement as he begged for a "second chance" in football.

A storm brewed. Sheffield United, the club who once paid Manchester City £3million for Evans and for whom he scored 42 goals in 103 appearances, employed the 25-year-old Welshman at the time of his conviction.

A petition demanding the club refuse to take him back has been signed by over 160,000 people.

Last week the Professional Footballers' Association asked United to allow Evans to train with them, which sparked more outrage.

Television presenter Charlie Webster, an ardent Blades supporter, resigned as patron and signalled her disgust by vowing never to watch another United match as long as Evans was connected with the club.

Ennis-Hill, another keen United fan, said she would want her name removed from a Bramall Lane stand if the club re-signs him.

Despite the furore, it is understood Evans has not yet trained with United and certainly no decision has been made on whether to hand him a lifeline.

On Saturday, as feminists protested against Evans' return outside Sheffield Town Hall, the Blades won 1-0 at Doncaster with 10 men. Jamie Murphy's stunning strike marked a welcome end to a traumatic week which has seen the club come under heavy fire.

Blades boss Nigel Clough said: "We've taken some flak and although we haven't come through it yet, we're getting there.

"It's been a frustrating week but it has brought everyone closer together and when the time is right to say something we will say it."

There is an argument that Evans has served his sentence and should be allowed to resume his football career; that society should not be handing out extra-judicial punishment. After all, Lee Hughes returned to the professional ranks after serving time for causing death by dangerous driving.

But the assertion that a convicted rapist has no place in a sport where players are seen as role models appears increasingly compelling.

Backed by over 4,000 supporters at the Keepmoat Stadium, a small minority of whom chanted Evans' name, there was a unity about United as they seek promotion from League One.

Clough has fashioned a promising side and, although he is looking to add at least one striker to his squad, signing a sex offender would seem ill advised on every level.

Goalkeeper Mark Howard, whose second-half penalty save proved crucial, said of the Evans saga: "You can ignore it or read into it as much as you want to. I just try and get on with my own life and concentrate on my football.

"As a team, our performances are bringing us together more. Before the game, the gaffer said to us that at his previous clubs he had got the lads to donate some money to Children in Need. Every goal that we scored today, we had to donate £5 per person and every goal we conceded we would donate a tenner. It's a great cause. As a team, it's nice to give something back."

Sheffield, united, appear a decent bet to march on with or without Evans.

Express
17/11
1 Points
1

Sheffield United drop convicted rapist Ched Evans after public backlash

An appeal against conviction was rejected in 2012 but his case is due to go to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.His girlfriend Natasha Massey, 25, is standing by him.Sheffield United was unavailable for comment.

Evans, 25, returned to training with the club last week after serving half of a five-year rape sentence but a growing public backlash has reportedly forced the striker out.

Olympic gold medal athlete Jessica Ennis-Hall said she wanted her name removed from a stand dedicated to her if the club had re-signed Evans, defying internet trolls who attacked her views.

TV host Charlie Webster quit as club patron in protest and main sponsor John Holland Sales Ltd threatened to tear up its contract if he played again.

Speaking on BBC Newsnight, women's rights campaigner Mrs Webster said: "At no point have Sheffield United acknowledged the extremity of his crime.

"Nobody is making a decision and I feel I need to make a decision as a patron of Sheffield United."

Evans was jailed for raping a teenager at a hotel in 2011. An appeal against conviction was rejected in 2012 but his case is due to go to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

His girlfriend Natasha Massey, 25, is standing by him.

Sheffield United was unavailable for comment.

Express
16/11
6 Points
1

Police probe rape threats to Jessica Ennis-Hill

 TV presenter Charlie Webster this week quit as club patron after Evans, 25, resumed training with United following his release from jail. South Yorkshire Police have launched an investigation after trolls said she should be raped. But she said if the club re-signed Evans it would   “completely contradict” her beliefs about sport stars being a role model for young people.

South Yorkshire Police have launched an investigation after trolls said she should be raped.  

The athlete, 28, had the stand named in her honour after the 2012 London Games. But she said if the club re-signed Evans it would   “completely contradict” her beliefs about sport stars being a role model for young people.  

TV presenter Charlie Webster this week quit as club patron after Evans, 25, resumed training with United following his release from jail.

Express
15/11
14 Points
1 2 3 4

Ched Evans row: Jessica Ennis-Hill is sent rape tweet

Police are investigating after a Twitter user wrote that he hoped Ched Evans raped Jessica Ennis-Hill.

On Thursday the athlete said she would want her name removed from a stand named after her by Sheffield United if the club re-signs the convicted rapist.

Later in the day a tweet was sent, saying: "I hope he [Evans] rapes her".

The out-of-contract striker, 25, was freed last month after serving half a five-year prison sentence and has since been allowed to train with the club.

In a statement released on Thursday, 28-year-old Ennis-Hill, who is from Sheffield, said: "Those in positions of influence should respect the role they play in young people's lives and set a good example.

"If Evans was to be re-signed by the club it would completely contradict these beliefs," added the London 2012 Olympic heptathlon champion.

Within hours of her intervention the tweet was sent from an account that has since been deleted.

South Yorkshire Police said in a statement officers were "investigating reports of abusive tweets".

The statement said: "Officers are making efforts to contact the individual concerned, but have launched an investigation into the posts online."

Reacting to the controversy, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said Ennis-Hill had been "absolutely right" to speak out and it was "appalling she had now received rape threats".

Ms Cooper said: "Whether it's on Twitter or in the pub, wherever it is, it should still be a criminal offence and that's why the police need to investigate.

"And for it to happen when Jessica Ennis Hill has done exactly the right thing by taking a stand against violence against women, to be honest it shows why what she's done is so important."

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough has said the club is "nowhere near decided" whether or not to re-sign Evans.

Evans has scored 59 goals in 167 appearances during spells with Manchester City, Norwich City and Sheffield United.

He was sentenced to five years in April 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in May 2011, having been found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

At his trial, he admitted having sex with the teenager but denied rape.

He has declined any request to be interviewed by the BBC, but released a video statement on his personal website in which he said he wanted to play again.

BBC
14/11
2 Points
1

Sports Jessica Ennis makes a stand over convicted rapist Ched Evans

Ennis, the Olympic heptathlon champion who is from the city and a Blades fan, said: “Those in positions of influence in communities should respect the role they play in young people’s lives and set a good example.“If Evans was to be re-signed by the club it would completely contradict these beliefs.”.

Ennis, the Olympic heptathlon champion who is from the city and a Blades fan, said: “Those in positions of influence in communities should respect the role they play in young people’s lives and set a good example.

“If Evans was to be re-signed by the club it would completely contradict these beliefs.”

Express
14/11
20 Points
1 2 3

Sports Ched Evans: Jessica Ennis-Hill makes Sheffield United warning

Jessica Ennis-Hill wants her name to be removed from a stand named after her by Sheffield United if the club offers convicted rapist Ched Evans a contract. "Those in positions of influence should respect the role they play in young people's lives and set a good example," said Olympic champion Ennis-Hill. Evans has scored 59 goals in 167 appearances during spells with Manchester City, Norwich City and Sheffield United.

Jessica Ennis-Hill wants her name to be removed from a stand named after her by Sheffield United if the club offers convicted rapist Ched Evans a contract.

United, who play at Bramall Lane, are to allow Evans, 25, to train with them.

But United manager Nigel Clough said it had "nowhere near been decided" whether or not to re-sign Evans.

"Those in positions of influence should respect the role they play in young people's lives and set a good example," said Olympic champion Ennis-Hill.

"If Evans was to be re-signed by the club it would completely contradict these beliefs."

Evans was freed last month after serving half of a five-year jail sentence, and maintains he is innocent.

Three club patrons have now resigned while one of United's sponsors has said it will end its association with the club if they re-sign Evans.

Almost 157,000 people have signed a petition urging Sheffield United not to take the striker back.

The club chose not to renew his contract following his conviction and he is currently out of contract.

Evans has scored 59 goals in 167 appearances during spells with Manchester City, Norwich City and Sheffield United.

He was sentenced to five years in April 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in May 2011, having been found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

At his trial, he admitted having sex with the woman but denied rape.

He has declined any request to be interviewed by the BBC, but released a video statement on his personal website in which he said he wanted to play again.

BBC
13/11
1 Points
1

Jessica Ennis-Hill wants name REMOVED from Sheffield United stand if Ched Evans is re-sign

 Evans has been allowed to return to training at the League One club, however the Blades have yet to confirm whether they will offer the 25-year-old a new playing contract.

A stand at United's Bramall Lane ground was named after Ennis-Hill, following her gold medal success in the heptathlon at London 2012. 

However, the 28-year-old athlete has pledged to force the club to strip the stand of her name because re-signing Evans would "completely contradict" her belief in sport stars as "role models."

The mother-of-one, who is a life-long Blades fan, said: "I believe being a role model to young people is a huge honour and those in positions of influence in communities should respect the role they play in young people’s lives and set a good example.  

"If Evans was to be re-signed by the club it would completely contradict these beliefs." 

This news comes after TV presenter Charlie Webster became one of three United patrons to quit their positions' in protest over the return of the convicted rapist yesterday. 

She was soon joined by the only other female patron of Sheffield United, Lindsay Graham, who resigned citing "personal reasons."

Shortly afterwards, Sixties singer Dave Berry also left his position as a patron.

Meanwhile United's main sponsor John Holland Sale has threatened to tear up its contract with the club if Evans is allowed to play again. 

The company said they would "re-evaluate" their relationship if Evans is given a contract at Bramall Lane

The Welsh striker was jailed in April 2012 for raping a woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, North Wales.

Evans continues to deny rape and claimed that sex with the victim was consensual, but he was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

An appeal against the conviction was rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in 2012 but the case will be looked at by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

The former Manchester City player was freed from prison last month after serving two-and-a-half years.

Almost 157,000 people have signed a petition urging United not to re-sign him. 

Express
13/11
8 Points
1

THIRD patron of Sheffield United resigns after rapist Ched Evans returns to training

No-one's in a position to do that."We issued a statement saying we're aware of public deliberations on this matter and we've taken a decision, after several weeks, after taking all these facts in consideration. The next step is to sort out some kind of training programme for him."The club yesterday released a statement in which they said that they had not been decided whether Evans . That's nowhere near being decided yet." Asked why the club have not yet made a decision, Clough said: "It goes in stages.

Televion presenter Charlie Webster quit the position in protest over the return of convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Earlier this year the former Sky Sports presenter insisted that she would quit her position if Evans was re-signed to the League One club.

Webster told BBC's Newsnight that she had had a "positive" conversation with United's chairman but added that she felt she had to make a decision after Evans returned to training.

She said: "At no point have Sheffield United acknowledged the extremity of his crime. I think it's over 155,000 people now that have signed a petition against Ched Evans going back to the club. 

"Nobody's making a decision and I suppose I feel I need to make a decision as patron of Sheffield United.

"My decision, which I've informed the club about a little bit earlier on, is that I resign as patron of Sheffield United, Sheffield United Community Foundation, which is all about inspiring the next generation through sport.

"My decision is made on the fact that I don't believe a convicted rapist, as in Ched Evans, should go back to a club that I am patron of and should go back into the community to represent the community.

"He's not just going into a job, he's bandied as a role model, we cheer him on as a role model and he's influencing the next generation of young men who are currently still making their decisions on how to treat women and what sexual mutual consent is."

Webster has previously revealed how she was sexually assaulted as a teenager.

The presenter today thanked supporters on Twitter and said: "Overwhelmed by the level of your support. I am so heartened to see that the vast majority are standing with me & saying that this isn’t okay."

The only other female patron of Sheffield United, Lindsay Graham, also resigned today citing "personal reasons".

Shortly afterwards sixties singer Dave Berry also left his position as a patron.

Despite the outcry at Evans' return to training, some have supported the move.

Former Labour sports minister Richard Caborn said that Evans should be allowed to return to football if he apologises or his cleared on appeal.

The former sports minister told BBC Radio Sheffield: "There are two processes in which I believe Ched Evans can come back into professional football.

"One - he is pursuing an appeal. And I don't think that anyone would deny that if they believe there has been a miscarriage of justice they have a right to have that heard.That's been fast-tracked because of the high profile case.

"Or secondly, Ched as a professional footballer - this is where I disagree with the PFA - I believe professional footballers are role models in society and therefore Ched would have to apologise for his actions and show remorse. I think that's very important indeed.

"If he does either of those two things - his name is cleared through the courts - or he shows remorse, then I believe he has a right or indeed should then be allowed back into professional football. They are the conditions, I believe. 

"Nobody would deny anybody natural justice. If he believes he has been wronged and there has been a miscarriage of justice he has every right to go to appeal.

"That will be heard. It will be the courts, not mob rule, that decide that and I think people then should accept that as well.

"United's position hasn't changed because they're saying that they are not prepared at this time to decide the issue as to whether he comes back as a registered footballer.

"What they have done is obviously been asked by the PFA - that's the trade union of professional footballers - if Ched can actually get back into training - in the event of him being able to come at least to be fit, which will take many months, I understand, to be able to do that.

"I think the position of the club has not changed, in the sense that they are saying until this has been cleared up then they are not prepared to make a decision on that."

The 25-year-old footballer was freed from prison last month after serving two-and-a-half years.

Almost 157,000 people have signed a petition urging Sheffield United not to re-sign him.

Today Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough tried to downplay Evans' return, saying it is 'not a top priority' with the club who have four matches in ten days.

He said that he was consulted "like every other employee" before the decision was made to allow Evans to train with the club.

He said: "There is no timescale in terms of how long he will train with us and, in all honestly, it's not our top priority.

"Instead, we've got four games in the next ten days which will shape our season and decide whether or not we're still in two cup competitions, and back in the top six in the league.

"So that's where our focus is, not on some player who's training with us.

"He's doing so in accordance with the law and a PFA request to get fit, and be able to do his job again - whether that's with us, or somewhere else. That's nowhere near being decided yet." 

Asked why the club have not yet made a decision, Clough said: "It goes in stages. How can you sign a player who hasn't played football for two years and seven months? No-one's in a position to do that.

"We issued a statement saying we're aware of public deliberations on this matter and we've taken a decision, after several weeks, after taking all these facts in consideration. The next step is to sort out some kind of training programme for him."

The club yesterday released a statement in which they said that they had not been decided whether Evans ? who protests his innocence ? would be re-signed.

However it said that it had agreed to a request from the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) to let him train.

The club said they had considered the views of staff, the Football League and the PFA, as well as United supporters and the general public, as expressed in "emails, social media comments, editorials, supporter websites, public petitions and media coverage".

They also considered the PFA view that footballers should be treated equally before the law, in terms of being allowed to be rehabilitated.

They also said that Evans had acknowledged "the destructive nature of the acts which led to his conviction".

The team added that they condemned rape and violence against women in the "strongest possible terms".

The Welsh striker was jailed in April 2012 for raping a woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, North Wales.

Evans denied rape and claimed that the sex was consensual but he was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

An appeal against the conviction was rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in 2012 but the case will be looked at by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Express
12/11
2 Points
1 2

Ched Evans: Charlie Webster resigns as Sheffield United patron

Her resignation comes after Sheffield United released a statement on Tuesday saying Evans would be allowed to train with the club. His case is due to be looked at by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.The Welsh striker maintains his innocence, saying the sex was consensual.

Television presenter Charlie Webster has resigned as a patron of Sheffield United after the club allowed convicted rapist Ched Evans to train.

The club said it had granted former player Evans permission to train with the side following a request from the Professional Footballers' Association.

Evans, 25, was freed last month after serving two-and-a-half years for rape.

Ms Webster told BBC's Newsnight that "at no point" had the club acknowledged the "extremity of his crime".

The Wales international footballer was jailed in April 2012 for raping a woman in a hotel room in Rhyl.

Her resignation comes after Sheffield United released a statement on Tuesday saying Evans would be allowed to train with the club. It said the club had not yet decided whether to re-sign him.

Ms Webster told Newsnight that "nobody" was making a decision about Evans, adding: "I suppose I feel I need to make a decision as patron of Sheffield United.

"My decision is made on the fact that I don't believe a convicted rapist, as in Ched Evans, should go back to a club that I am patron of and should go back into the community to represent the community.

"He's not just going into a job, he's bandied as a role model, we cheer him on as a role model and he's influencing the next generation of young men who are currently still making their decisions on how to treat women and what sexual mutual consent is."

Ms Webster - who in an interview earlier this year revealed she had been sexually assaulted as a teenager - said she had had a "positive" conversation with the chairman of the Sheffield United before resigning.

It comes after campaign groups criticised the decision to allow Evans to resume training with his former club.

Almost 157,000 people have signed a petition urging Sheffield United not to take the player back after the club chose not to renew his contract following his conviction.

However, Sheffield United said there could be no place for "mob justice" in making a decision over his future.

The club said it had considered the views of staff, the Football League and the PFA, as well as the club's supporters and the general public.

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 Cases Review Commission.

The Welsh striker maintains his innocence, saying the sex was consensual.

BBC
12/11
1 Points
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