Ched Evans: Hartlepool boss wants to sign convicted rapist

Ched Evans
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United during the 2011-12 season

Hartlepool boss Ronnie Moore would like to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Evans, 25, was released in October after serving half of a five-year sentence for the rape of a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in 2011.

Moore, who took charge of the Football League's bottom club this week, has confirmed his interest in Wales and ex-Sheffield United striker Evans.

"It's a possibility. If it could happen, I'd want it to," he said after Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Oxford.

"He is a proven scorer; he's served his time and the boy wants to play football."

Sheffield United retracted an offer to allow Evans to train with them last month following strong local opposition, but 61-year-old Moore insists he is willing to offer the forward a route back into football.

"If there is a chance he might come here, I don't see any reason why he shouldn't," he continued.

TV presenter Charlie Webster, 60s pop star Dave Berry and Sheffield businesswoman Lindsay Graham all resigned as patrons of Sheffield United after Evans was invited to return to training, while musician Paul Heaton stood down as a patron of the club's community foundation.

Ronnie Moore
Moore, 61, was dismissed by Tranmere Rovers in April after he admitted breaking FA betting rules

And Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill stated that she wanted her name removed from one of the Bramall Lane stands should he play for the club again.

However, Moore added: "He has made a mistake and maybe he hasn't apologised in the right way - and I know he has an appeal case pending - but if he gets on the park, he would go a long way to getting us out of trouble."

The draw in the Liverpudlian's first game as Hartlepool manager ended a run of four successive defeats for the club, but they are seven points adrift at the bottom of League Two.

Moore had been out of football since being dismissed by Tranmere Rovers in April after he admitted breaching Football Association betting rules.

Ched Evans's career
ClubGamesGoals
Manchester City161
Norwich City (loan)2810
Sheffield United11348
Wales131

His appointment by Hartlepool came on the same day as TMH 2014 Limited completed their takeover of the north-east club from previous owner Ken Hodcroft.

Hartlepool's Labour MP Iain Wright said Evans was a "pariah" and signing him would send the wrong message to young fans.

"I really hope we don't," said Wright. "I love my club, I love Hartlepool United. There's a reason why no other team in the Football League wants to sign him - he is a pariah.

"I was at the match today. There were lots of young lads there supporting Hartlepool United. I just think it sends out such a wrong message to young men in terms of it being OK for a rapist to play football. It's entirely wrong."

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