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Ched Evans Sport Social Media

Ched Evans ‘wholeheartedly apologises’ for assault and condemns social media users abusing the victim

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By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

January 8, 2015 | 3 min read

Ched Evans has apologised for the “effects of that night in Rhyl”, which saw him sentenced to five years in prison for raping a drunk woman, after Oldham Athletic’s attempt to sign the player was scuppered by sponsors.

The club on Thursday abandoned its efforts to sign the former Sheffield United footballer as sponsors threatened to abandon the side if the Welsh international star was signed.

Ched Evans issued a statement via the Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA) website: “I am grateful for the support of the PFA in helping me try to return to football and continue my career. Upon legal advice, I was told not to discuss the events in question. This silence has been misinterpreted as arrogance and I would like to state that this could not be further from the truth.

“I do remain limited at present by what I can say due to the ongoing referral to the Criminal Cases Review Commission and whilst I continue to maintain my innocence, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise for the effects that night in Rhyl has had on many people, not least the woman concerned.”

Evans concluded: “Finally, it has been claimed that those using social media in an abusive and vindictive way towards this woman are supporters of mine. I wish to make it clear that these people are not my supporters and I condemn their actions entirely and will continue to do so.”

Jim McMahon, the head of Oldham council, issued a statement on the outcome: “I understand Oldham Athletic’s move to sign Ched Evans is off. I’ve always believed in rehabilitation but felt that both club and player should have allowed Mr Evans’ appeal to run its course before agreeing a contract.

“The whole episode has divided the town and public opinion and there are no winners in all this – not least of all the reputation of our club and town. In recent days we’ve seen an horrendous ‘trial by social media’ with intimidation, abuse and harassment on a scale that has cast a terrible shadow.”

Oldham Athletic has yet to release a statement on its decision.

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