22 October 2014 19:32
Ched Evans has pleaded to prospective employers for the chance to prove he can be a “positive influence” following his release from prison.
The former Sheffield United striker left jail last Friday after serving half of a five-year sentence for rape, though he remains on licence for the remainder of his term.
Evans continues to protest his innocence over the incident that took place in May 2011 and has polarised opinions with his plans to potentially return to the game.
League One side United denied speculation last weekend that Evans was poised to seal a return to Bramall Lane, although a section of the club’s supporters were vocal in their support of the 25-year-old at Saturday’s Yorkshire derby with Bradford City.
If and when Evans is given the “second chance” he is desperate for within football, the former Manchester City trainee has vowed to behave accordingly.
In a YouTube video released on Wednesday, Evans said: “Even though I have been released from prison, I am determined to continue the fight to clear my name.
“It is public knowledge that an application to refer my case back to the Court of Appeal has recently been submitted to the Criminal Cases Review Commission by my lawyers.
“It is a rare and extraordinary privilege to be permitted to play professional football.
“Now that I have served the custodial part of my sentence of two-and-a-half years it is my hope that I will be able to return to football.
“If that is possible then I would do so with humility having learned a very painful lesson.
“I would like a second chance but I know not everyone would agree.
“I don’t believe I have a given right to play again, but for any club to take me on, I have learned a valuable lesson and now that over time I can prove myself to be a positive influence, not just on the pitch, but also in the community.”
Prior to his time behind bars, Evans made over 160 appearances during spells with Manchester City, Norwich City and Sheffield United. He was capped 13 times for Wales.