‘You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.’ Harvey Dent said this so it must be true. Whilst Ched Evans was never really a hero, he was a talented footballer. Signed by Manchester City, loaned to Norwich before ending up at Sheffield UTD where he scored 35 goals in the 2011-12 season. Things were looking up for the Welsh international until he was convicted of rape in 2012 and sentenced to five years in prison. He has since seen himself become a villain.
The case of Ched Evans is a slightly unique one with unfortunate results for the footballer. For some, it is not enough that he has ‘done his time’ in prison- albeit only half his sentence, they want him to continue to suffer, and have made it practically impossible for the footballer to ever play again. Would the public masses have cried so loud had he had a blue collar job? A butcher? A baker or a candlestick maker? I would put my last quid on the answer being no.
Since his release he has not played football, which before anything else is his bread and butter, it is his job. He was due to begin training with Sheffield utd following his release but this led to several patrons of the club to resign and even the holy Jessica Ennis-Hill to state that if he returned she wanted her name to be removed from one of the stands. This, sponsors threatening leaving and a 150,000 person petition meant that he did not return to the team. Similar results happened when rumours flew about him joining Hartlepool, Grimsby Town and even a Maltese team. Who knew they even played? At Oldham Utd he was rumoured to go back and play for a measly £400, once again a petition arose and this time the charismatic Red Ed gave his two pence on the matter.
There appears to be a glimmer of hope for the sportsman with his rape conviction being sent to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC). This is based upon new evidence that was not raised at trial. To this day Evans does not deny having sex with the woman but strongly denies any wrongdoing stating it was consensual. Only time will tell what happens next; with three outcomes possible; he will then have three options. The judges can uphold the conviction, they can simply quash the conviction or they can quash the conviction and order a retrial. The retrial route in unlikely in a case like this when Evans has already served his sentence.
If the conviction is quashed I do hope that all of those who signed the petitions, threw their toys out of their prams and Jessica Ennis send a letter of apology to Ched Evans. I highly doubt they will, and will no doubt continue in their mob ways and will try to stop him playing ever again for a top club. If that does happen then there will only be one option left he could take over from Lineker on the Walkers adverts, at least it will stop the obesity crisis in kids right?