Ched Evans: Sheffield United re-sign striker from Chesterfield

Ched Evans
Ched Evans signed a 12-month contract extension with Chesterfield in January

Chesterfield striker Ched Evans has completed his return to Sheffield United, signing a three-year contract.

Evans, 28, last played for the Blades in 2012 before he was found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2011 and sentenced to five years in prison.

That conviction was quashed and, following a re-trial in October 2016, Evans was found not guilty.

"I still feel I have plenty to prove in football both at club and international level," said the Wales striker.

"I believe I can achieve those goals at United, playing in front of the terrific fans whose support I have always appreciated."

Evans joined Chesterfield last summer and scored seven goals in 29 games for the relegated League One side this season.

Evans scored 48 times in 113 games in all competitions in his first spell with Sheffield United, who will play in the Championship in 2017-18 after winning the third-tier title.

He last won an international cap in March 2011, coming on as a substitute against England.

BBC Radio Sheffield reported on 24 April that the deal could be worth about £500,000.

'We have done our homework'

Having first joined Sheffield United from Manchester City for £3m in 2009, Evans was prolific in his final season with the club, scoring 35 times in 42 appearances.

Following his release in October 2014, having served two and a half years of his prison sentence, the Blades revoked an initial offer to allow him to use their training facilities after 170,000 people signed an online petition against the move.

United's main shirt sponsor threatened to end their association with the club if they re-signed Evans, three club patrons resigned, while Olympic heptathlon champion Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill wanted her name removed from a stand named after her if the striker was offered a contract.

Evans has rejoined the Blades after their six-year stint in League One came to an end with promotion in April.

"The signing is just one element of the plans we have drawn up for next season," Blades boss Chris Wilder told the club website.

"We have done our homework on the player. We pride ourselves on team spirit - as the fans have seen this season - and plan to bring in players who can be part of that.

"Ched comes to us with targets to achieve along the way. With a full pre-season with us, we believe he can provide us with options up front and score goals."

'I am grateful to Chesterfield'

Chesterfield offered Evans a return to professional football in June 2016, two months after his conviction was quashed, saying "a great deal of thought" had gone into the signing.

"I am very grateful to Chesterfield, the board and football management for giving me an opportunity to return to the game," added Evans, who nearly joined Oldham Athletic in January 2015 before the League One club pulled out of the deal following threats to their staff and pressure from sponsors.

"It is just disappointing that it has come in a season which has seen the club suffer relegation. I would like to thank the Chesterfield fans who made me feel so welcome."

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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