Ched Evans
Ched Evans is looking for a club after he was released from jail following a rape convictionGetty

Hartlepool Football Club is reportedly considering signing convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Evans was accused of rape in 2011 after having sex with a 19-year-old woman, at a hotel near his home town of Rhyl, Denbighshire.

The 25-year-old served two-and-a-half years of a five-year sentence after being convicted for the crime. He has refused to apologise to his victim or accept his guilt.

Hartlepool's manager Ronnie Moore said the controversial signing was "a possibility".

"If it could happen, I would want it to happen," he said. "He is a proven scorer; he's served his time and the boy wants to play football. If there is a chance he might come here, I don't see any reason why he shouldn't.

"He has made a mistake and maybe he hasn't apologised in the right way - and I know he has an appeal case pending - but if he gets on the park, he would go a long way to getting us out of trouble."

Describing Evans as "a pariah" Hartlepool's Labour MP Iain Wright said he was outraged at the reports that Evans was being considered for the town's team, which currently lies bottom of League Two.

"I really hope we don't. I love my club, I love Hartlepool United," said Wright. "There's a reason why no other team in the Football League wants to sign him - he is a pariah.

"'I was at the match today. There were lots of young lads there supporting Hartlepool United. I just think it sends out such a wrong message to young men in terms of it being OK for a rapist to play football. It's entirely wrong."

The Welsh forward was invited to train with his former club Sheffield United after his release from prison, prompting several high-profile public figures to sever ties with the league one club. Patrons including Beautiful South front man Paul Heaton, Dave Berry, Lindsay Graham and Charlie Webster resigned their roles in protest, while sponsors said they were re-evaluating their association with the club.

Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill asked for her name to be removed from one of the stands at Bramall Lane. Her stance resulted in vicious threats from trolls on social media. Sheffield United said anyone found to be behind abuse directed at the Olympic champion would face a lifetime ban.

Following the public outcry the offer to Evans was retracted. The club said they had not anticipated the 'intensity' of the public reaction.

Mr Moore, took over as manager of Hartlepool, which is bottom of the league table.