Wales

Wales striker Ched Evans charged with rape

Ched Evans
Image caption Ched Evans joined Sheffield United for £3m

Wales footballer Ched Evans has been charged with rape.

The 22-year-old striker, who has 22 caps for his country, was arrested after an alleged incident in Rhyl, Denbighshire on 31 May.

North Wales Police confirmed he and another man will appear before Prestatyn magistrates on 8 August.

Mr Evans made a statement through his legal team on his club Sheffield United's website, although the Blades would not comment further.

The £3m-star's legal team said: "We wish to confirm that Ched Evans has this week been charged with an offence of rape by the North Wales Police.

"Ched has decided voluntarily to make this information public as he wishes to express his extreme shock and disappointment at having been charged with this offence."

The statement added that he wished to strenuously deny the charge, would be looking to clear his name and was confident he would be acquitted and entirely vindicated.

The St Asaph-born striker made his Wales debut from the bench and scored the winner in the 1-0 friendly win over Iceland in May 2008.

He came through the trainee ranks at Premier League side Manchester City before spending time on loan at Norwich City.

After returning to the Etihad Stadium, he was later sold to Sheffield United in 2009 for £3m but could not save the club from relegation to League One last season.

The club are prepared to sell Mr Evans for less than their £1.5m valuation to reduce the club's wage bill and has been linked with Championship sides Ipswich, Cardiff and Middlesbrough.

He was not involved in Sunday's pre-season friendly with Blackpool.

A North Wales Police spokesperson said: "A 22-year-old man from Crewe and a 22-year-old man from Rhyl have both been charged with rape.

"Both men were arrested on suspicion of rape on 31 May and were charged with the offence on Tuesday, 26 July.

"Both have been bailed to appear before Prestatyn magistrates on Monday, 8 August."

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