Blades cut ties, but not the end for Evans

POSITIVE action has had the desired effect with Sheffield United making a U-turn on the Ched Evans situation.

Evans had previously been allowed to train with the club after his release from prison, on the request of the PFA, but high profile United Foundation members spoke out including Jess Ennis-Hill, the Olympic Gold medallist demanding her name removed from the Sheffield club’s stand if Evans was signed again: “I believe being a role model is a huge honour.

“Those in positions of influence should respect the role they play in young people's lives and set a good example.

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“If Evans was to be re-signed by the club it would completely contradict these beliefs.”

Joining Ennis-Hill was former beautiful south frontman Paul Heaton, a lifelong Blade, who also released a statement upon his resignation, damning the club for their actions.

Both Ennis-Hill and Heaton received abuse after their statements from people who disagreed with their decision.

This action from high profile fans of the club has been labelled as “mob action” by members of the Blades board but I believe it has been a positive thing, reminding Blades bosses that the club is a part of the community and provides many people with role models.

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When I was young, my heroes were footballers, I wanted to be them, act like them and play for my favourite team.

The stark reality is that footballers are role models — they attend social functions, visit children’s hospitals and create magical moments that youngsters and adults over the world look up to.

The decision had to be made — if this was a social worker, teacher or politician the question wouldn't even have been asked.  

The stark reality is that another club will take a risk on Evans, and give him a chance to play the sport again, as a role model to thousands of kids.

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Evans is allegedly in talks with six clubs, who will meet him in secret over the coming weeks to discuss the viability of a move.

If he clears his name in a court of law then he should be afforded the chance to play again as an innocent man. But until that point any club will be taking a huge moral risk in signing the former Welsh international.

By Daniel Plant (22), of Kimberworth, studying journalism at Huddersfield University