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Ched Evans Scandal: Sheffield United Patron Paul Heaton Resigns

17/11/2014 18:16 GMT | Updated 17/11/2014 18:59 GMT

Sheffield United has been told to "lift its reputation out of the gutter" by kicking convicted rapist Ched Evans off the team.

Former Beautiful South front man Paul Heaton has announced he will resign as a patron of the club's Community Foundation, saying Evans needs to "move away and move on" and not "walk straight out of prison and into the shirt of the club he so badly let down".

Mr Evans has returned to training at the club, after being released from prison two after serving two and a half years for rape. After his release, he insisted he was innocent and announced plans to clear his name.

ched evans

Ched Evans

Mr Heaton's announcement follows Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill's threat to resign as a patron if the club re-signs Evans and the departure of fellow patron Charlie Webster.

Writing on Facebook, Mr Heaton thanked them and others for "standing up for victims of rape everywhere".

He wrote: "I firmly believe that Ched Evans has the right to rebuild his career in football but rebuilding a career should not involve walking straight out of prison and into the shirt of the club he so badly let down.

I believe he needs to move away and move on, and the club itself needs to lift its reputation out of the gutter.

He added he would donate his fee for his gig at Sheffield City Hall to the Sheffield Rape Crisis Centre, "as a way of showing a lead to others involved in this torrid affair".

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Last week, police said they are investigating abusive messages on Twitter aimed at Ms Ennis-Hill after she made her comments about Mr Evans.