It is with great regret that I announce my resignation as patron of Sheffield United Community Foundation.
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’s the fourth Blades patron to part company with the club, the others being TV personality Charlie Webster, 1960s pop star Dave Berry and school food and health adviser Lindsay Graham.
Oh, and Jessica Ennis wants her name taken off our away end. I think we’ll survive.
But Heaton is the first one to say anything meaningful about his decision.
United need to make a choice now. If they’re going to re-employ Evans, they must do so; if not, they need to end his training agreement with them and move on – quickly. Dragging their feet on this is dragging the club down – it makes the Board look weak and indecisive, and Heaton is right about the damage to the club’s reputation – it’s happening already, so something needs to be done.
But I like his reasoning on Evans not coming back to United. He did let the club down and while I still believe that he is fully within his rights to ply his trade again, maybe that’s the reason that it shouldn’t be at Bramall Lane.