Ched Evans offered 12-month contract by Chesterfield


Ched Evans has been offered the chance of a return to football by Sky Bet League One club Chesterfield.

The Welsh forward, 27, has signed a 12-month contract with the Spireites, the club have said.

Evans will go on trial on October 4 charged with raping a woman in May 2011. He has pleaded not guilty.

His last game was for Sheffield United against Leyton Orient on April 14, 2012 in which he scored in a 3-1 win for the Blades at Bramall Lane.

Ched Evans leaves the Court of Appeal in London with partner Natasha Massey (John Aston/PA)

Evans was jailed in 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman but the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction in April.

Chesterfield chairman Dave Allen admitted it is not a decision the club came to lightly.

He told the club's official website: "We are delighted to have secured the services of an outstanding footballer, who is now keen to get back to work and score goals.

"(Manager) Danny Wilson knows Ched very well, having previously managed him at Sheffield United."

Footballer Ched Evans

He said: "Chris Morgan, our first team coach, also speaks highly of him from their time together at Bramall Lane.

"Chesterfield Football Club have given a great deal of thought to this signing and following the court's decision, we are in no doubt that Ched Evans should be welcomed back into his profession as a professional footballer."

Previous attempts by clubs to sign Evans have failed amid protests. He came close to joining Chesterfield's League One rivals Oldham in January 2015 but the club pulled out of the deal following pressure from sponsors.

Shortly before that, Evans also had an invitation to use Sheffield United's training facilities rescinded after more than 150,000 people signed a petition opposing it.

Ched Evans seen out and about in Cheshire

The former Manchester City and Norwich striker is now looking forward to resuming his career with the Spireites and he will link up with his new team-mates at the start of next month when pre-season training begins.

"I am very excited and privileged to be resuming my career at Chesterfield and I hope to make a valuable contribution both on and off the pitch for the football club, the fans and the community," Evans told the club's official website.

Chesterfield have a one-year option on Evans at the end of his initial 12-month contract.