BOSSES at a Wearside League football club have decided not to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans.
Ashbrooke Belford House FC had insisted they were going to sign the player - but changed their decision after 19,000 people signed a petition urging them not to.
The club launched a shock bid to sign the forward, who was released from prison late last year after serving half of a five-year sentence for the rape of a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in 2011.
An online petition launched on the change.org website in response to the announcement attracted more than 18,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.
Lee Harrison, assistant manager of the Sunderland-based club, who play seven leagues below the professional football pyramid, said today: “On behalf of the club, I want to say that we are not going to pursue this any more.
“After everything that’s gone on with the petition, everything that’s been in the papers and the feedback that we’ve had, we’ve decided that it is not worth pursuing.
“This is not the direction we want to go in. We are a community club and everyone is now against the idea.
“We just want to play football.”