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Paul Heaton resigns as patron of Sheffield United amid Ched Evans controversy

Convicted rapist Ched Evans was recently invited to train with the football club

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The Housemartins and The Beautiful South member Paul Heaton has resigned as patron of Sheffield United.

The football club recently made the controversial decision of allowing convicted rapist and former player Ched Evans to train with the club. Famous fans such as athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill and TV presenter Charlie Webster have denounced the club's actions, stating that a sex offender should not be reinstated in a position of power.

Now, Heaton has released the following statement: "It is with great regret that I announce my resignation as patron of Sheffield United Community Foundation. I would firstly like to salute the bravery of my fellow Blades and patrons in resigning their positions and in particular Charlie Webster, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Lindsay Graham, in standing up for victims of rape everywhere."

The statement continues: "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."

"As a way of showing a lead to others involved in this torrid affair, I will be donating my fee from this month's Sheffield City Hall gig to Sheffield Rape Crisis Centre. Finally, I would like to thank the Foundation for its continued hard work in the Sheffield community and wish them the very best for the future."

The statement was issued via Heaton's official Facebook page.

Heaton released a new album with former Beautiful South singer Jacqui Abbott in 2013 in the form of 'What Have We Become?'.

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