Singer Dave Berry is third person to quit Sheffield United foundation, calls on club to show ‘common sense’

Dave Berry
Dave Berry
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Famous Sheffield singer Dave Berry has called for ‘common sense’ after becoming the third person to quit the Sheffield United Community Foundation in the wake of Ched Evans being allowed to train with the club.

Berry has become the latest high-profile resignation from the Sheffield United Community Foundation in the wake of the news that the convicted rapist is training with the Blades.

He follows former Sky Sports News presenter Charlie Webster and Sheffield businesswoman Lindsay Graham in quitting the charity foundation run by Sheffield United.

Speaking exclusively to The Star, he said: “I made the decision this morning. I resigned because I felt I had to make some sort of stand.”

Berry called on Evans to ‘show a bit of remorse’, and asked the club to consider the feelings of women involved in the club, adding: “

“This is 2014. There should be women involved in the running of the football club. I don’t know if there are any women on the board of Sheffield United.

“Women involved in the companies that sponsor the club should be asked how they feel.

“I know he has served his sentence but he should have shown a bit of remorse, said sorry to the family, maybe made a donation to Rape Crisis charity - all the gestures people can do in this sort of situation.

“I don’t think anyone has asked the people running Sheffield United how they would feel if it was their daughter in a hotel room in Wales.

“I think Sheffield United really should have waited for the decision of the Court of Appeal.

“The club hasn’t handled it very well. Common sense should be the most important thing.

“If it was stipulated in his contract that they had to take him back on when he was released then they should have let him appeal through the court of arbitration for sport and let the courts sort it out.

“I am disappointed, I think they should have waited until at least the appeal.

“The more we read about football and the way it is run - no I am not surprised.”

READ MORE: Sheffield United shirt sponsors warn they will pull out of deals if Ched is re-signed

The Star editor’s opinion: No way back for Ched Evans

Lindsay Graham has resigned as a patron for the SUFC Foundation after talks with the Blades this morning broke down.

The businesswoman runs LGL Limited, a firm which specialises in advising on school meals and health.

Speaking exclusively to The Star, she said: “I have been privileged to support the work of Sheffield United Community Foundation as Patron.

“The foundation does amazing work with young people in Sheffield. I have spoken to the foundation this morning and resigned as Patron. My reasons are personal.”

Her exit follows former Sky Sports News presenter Charlie Webster stepping down over the issue earlier today.

Lindsay Graham had been the only other woman on the foundation. Both women have already been removed from the Sheffield United website’s SUFC Foundation page.

The remaining members include Game Of Thrones actor Sean Bean, former United player Bob Booker, The Housemartins singer Paul Heaton, former blade Alan Hodgkinson MBE and former boxer Brendan Ingle MBE.

Professional snooker player Ding Junhui, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nick Matthew and former professional boxer Glyn Rhodes MBE also remain as patrons.

Sheffield United yesterday said they had considered the views of staff, the Football League and the PFA, as well as United supporters and the general public, as expressed in “emails, social media comments, editorials, supporter websites, public petitions and media coverage”.

They also considered the PFA view that footballers should be treated equally before the law, in terms of being allowed to be rehabilitated.

The club also said Evans - who protests his innocence - acknowledged “the destructive nature of the acts which led to his conviction”.

Sheffield United said they condemned rape and violence against women in the “strongest possible terms”.

Evans was jailed in April 2012 for raping a woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, North Wales.

The Welsh striker denied rape, saying the sex was consensual, but he was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

The prosecution said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

PAn appeal against Evans’s conviction was rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in 2012. His case is due to be looked at by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

After his release, Evans released a video on his website protesting his innocence and vowing to clear his name.

He scored 42 goals in 103 games for the Blades, having previously played for Manchester City and Norwich City.