Ched Evans hopes to repay Sheffield United fans with goals having rejoining club after overturned rape conviction

The Welsh striker has rejoined his former club Sheffield United, having signed for Chesterfield last year when his rape conviction was quashed

Luke Brown
Monday 05 June 2017 13:32 BST
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Evans previously played for the club between 2009-2012
Evans previously played for the club between 2009-2012 (Getty)

Ched Evans has said that he hopes to repay Sheffield United supporters by scoring goals, after he completed a move back to his former club earlier this month.

Evans previously played for Sheffield United between 2009 and 2012, scoring 48 times in total, with his performances frequently drawing rave reviews.

However, Evans was released by the club when he was convicted by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court of raping a 19-year-old woman.

That conviction was later quashed and, following a re-trial in October 2016, Evans was found not guilty and released from prison. He resumed his career at Chesterfield, scoring 5 goals in 25 appearances for the League One side.

And in April, League One champions Sheffield United announced they had agreed a fee of £500k to resign their former player.

Evans has now spoken publicly of his delight at re-joining the club and how he hopes to repay their supporters.

Ched Evans found not guilty in hotel rape retrial

“It's my club,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mail. “Going back is a dream. The majority of the fans have been brilliant with me throughout what happened. I'd like to repay them by getting back to where I was, the form I was in when I left them.

Evans also said he bears the club no ill will for releasing him five-years ago, although he retains a sense of frustration that people still consider him guilty of committing a crime.

Evans was one of Sheffield United's best players (Getty)

“If you look at the scrutiny they came under you couldn't really blame them,” he added. “Public figures, the media, threats to the staff, you couldn't really create an issue out of them reacting to that in the way they did. I think anybody under that pressure would have done the same thing.”

“It does annoy me when people still say that I'm not innocent, I just made 12 members of a jury think I wasn't guilty. That's not right.

“My case went to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, some of the cleverest people in the country, who deemed it fit to be sent to the Court of Appeal where three judges quashed the conviction. Then it went to a retrial and I was found not guilty.”

Evans was found not guilty at a re-trial (Getty)

In the interview, Evans also spoke about his return to professional football and how, slowly, his life in the game is beginning to return to normal.

“I had my two front teeth knocked out at Oxford,” he said. “The referee had told me, 'You're in for some s*** today, lad'. I went up for a header and I got elbowed in the face.

“But since the not guilty verdict even the abuse from the crowds has died down. I think most people now realise I just want to get on with my career, although you do get the odd shout which is fine. Being at a football match can do funny things to people.”

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