Chesterfield have signed former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans.
The 27-year-old joins the Spireites after more than four years out of the game.
A Wales international, Evans was convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2011 and jailed in 2012 but had that conviction quashed in April.
He will face a retrial on 4th October after pleading not guilty at Cardiff Crown Court in May.
Evans’ last employer was Sheffield United where he was managed by current Spireites boss Danny Wilson.
He scored 35 goals in the 2011/12 season at Bramall Lane.
The move signals a reversal of the club’s policy on the striker.
When asked by the BBC in January 2015 if they would consider signing Evans, a Chesterfield spokesman said: “Please note we wouldn’t sign him.”
Confirming the signing on the club’s official website, Chesterfield chairman Dave Allen called Evans an ‘outstanding footballer’ who wanted to get back into the game.
“We are delighted to have secured the services of an outstanding footballer, who is now keen to get back to work and score goals,” he said.
“Danny Wilson knows Ched very well, having previously managed him at Sheffield United. Chris Morgan, our first team coach, also speaks highly of him from their time together at Bramall Lane.
“Chesterfield Football Club have given a great deal of thought to this signing and following the court’s decision, we are in no doubt that Ched Evans should be welcomed back into his profession as a professional footballer.”
Evans has signed a one-year contract with an option for a further year.
He said: “I am very excited and privileged to be resuming my career at Chesterfield and I hope to make a valuable contribution both on and off the pitch for the football club, the fans and the community.”
The club have said they will make no further comment on the signing and have asked the media to allow the player to concentrate on pre-season.