The Blades announced this evening the club will no longer allow the former striker, recently released from prison, to train with the club after a reaction which was ‘at an intensity it could not have anticipated’.
TV presenter Charlie Webster, who was one of four people including Graham Lindsay and Paul Heaton to quit the foundation in the wake of United’s initial announcement, tweeted her approval of the u-turn.
She said: “Sheffield United have done the right thing by not letting Ched Evans train with them. It’s the right thing for the club, its fans, its community and the victim.
“Sheffield United is a great club with a fantastic history and now its future can be fantastic too.”
Singer Dave Berry, who also quit the Sheffield United Community Foundation over Evans, said: “I’m very pleased to hear it but why has it taken so long? And still, where are all the men in this? I haven’t seen anyone commenting from football clubs.
“I’m rather disappointed at men not supporting this girl and making any gestures. They’ve said nothing about the contract - we’re still only halfway there.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is MP for Sheffield Hallam, said on Twitter: “A sensible decision by Sheffield United regarding Ched Evans. Step in the right direction.”
Sheffield central MP Paul Blomfield said: “I’m pleased that they’ve listened to the majority and listened to people like Jessica Ennis and made the right decision.
“But I do think that some of the reaction this debate has generated has raised some really disturbing attitudes towards sexual violence and I think there are some bigger lessons to learn as well.
“There’s been some great stuff happening in football. I was talking to Gordon Taylor from the PFA today and they’ve done some brilliant work on challenging racism and discrimination within football. So here I think there are some very specific lessons to be learned about attitudes towards sexual violence.”
Fans took to The Star’s Facebook page to air their views.
Louise Crofts said: “Still think united have gone about things the wrong way. Then again who would have thought the club would have had all the publicity that it’s had. Time to move on without his name in our shadow.”
Julia Neo Baker said: “The club’s lost too much support just for this one player.”
David Grant said: “I think it is the right decision for the club. They need to think about their reputation as a family club. Ched was toxic. The original decision to let him train meant that it caused more problems than it fixed. If he does mange to he the conviction over turned then fair play to him, he should then be allowed to play football again however while he is a convicted rapist it will always look bad on any club that takes him on as there are many like myself that believe certain jobs and professions should not allow you to return if the crime is serious enough.”
Jayne Grayson said: “Think this is the best solution all round..let’s all move on Ched somewhere else..best for everyone.”
United’s original statement on November 11: Sheffield United: Club statement on Ched Evans’ training return in full.