A new petition calling for Oldham Athletic to not sign convicted rapist Ched Evans has become one of the fastest growing in change.org’s history, according to The Independent.
More than one person per-second signed the petition within the first thirty minutes of going live. The petition was launched by Jean Hatchett after reports in The Sun stated that Oldham Athletic were the club on the brink of signing Evans. At the time of writing the petition (‘Simon Corney, Chairman of Oldham Athletic: Refuse to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans’) had 7,013 signatures.
Hatchett is the same woman who started the petition against Evans rejoining Sheffield United after the Wales striker had served half of his five year sentence. She was subsequently threatened with rape by twitter trolls
Oldham had previously turned down the opportunity to sign Ched Evans, along with Hartlepool and Tranmere. But the dramatic U-turn by the lancashire club comes just a day after Maltese club Hibernians had made contact with the 26-year-old in the hope of bringing him abroad.
But because of Evans’ current situation he was told, by the Ministry of Justice, he was not allowed to work abroad because of his status as a convicted rapist.
Reaction to the news has been predictably mixed, but Piers Morgan has thrown his support behind Evans’ return to football, claiming that if Lee Hughes and Luke McCormick (both killed pedestrians whilst driving) could return to the game, then he should be allowed to as well.
The Mail are also reporting that Evans is expected to train with Oldham on Monday, which is when an official announcement could be expected.