Ched Evans: Ex-Sheffield United player hopes to return to football

Ched Evans
Ched Evans scored 42 goals in 103 league appearances for Sheffield United

Ched Evans hopes to return to football with "humility" after serving two and a half years in prison for rape.

The Wales international, 25, was jailed for five years in April 2012 for raping a woman, 19, in a hotel room in 2011.

"It is a rare and extraordinary privilege to be permitted to play professional football. It is my hope that I will be able to return," said the striker in a video statement on his personal website.

Evans made no apology to his victim.

He has so far declined any request to be interviewed by the BBC.

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Ched Evans, with his girlfriend Tasha alongside, released a video

The former Manchester City player has been backed by the Professional Footballers' Association to return to the game.

"If that is possible then I will do so with humility having learned a very painful lesson," added Evans, who was named in the League One Team of the Year in the same month he was jailed. "I would like a second chance but I know not everyone would agree."

Evans was released at the end of his contract by Sheffield United after being convicted and the League One club have held internal talks regarding the prospect of a return.

An online petition against the move has received more than 150,000 signatures.

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

At his trial, he admitted to having sex with his victim but denied rape. He was convicted of the offence by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

An inquiry into his conviction is to be fast-tracked by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the body that examines potential miscarriages of justice.

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