Ched Evans must be allowed to play football again because his taxes would help the jobless, claimed Peter Taylor
Supporters of Ched Evans have lashed out at Rape Crisis over his conviction for rapeGetty

Sheffield United supporters were heard singing songs of praise for convicted rapist Ched Evans at a football match on Saturday.

A number of reporters heard fans chanting "Super, Super Ched. Super, Super Ched. Super, Super Ched, Super Chedwyn Evans" and a chant of "He's coming home."

According to a survey by YouGov for The Sunday Times, most men who expressed an opinion believe he should be allowed to play football for his former club Sheffield United.

However, most women want him banned. Charlie Webster, Sky Sports reporter, said she would resign as a patron of the club if Evans came back.

The Welsh international footballer was released from prison last week after serving half of a five-year sentence for rape.

Evans continues to deny raping a woman a woman at a Premier Inn hotel in North Wales in 2011. On his website, a statement said: "Ched is now adjusting to normal life after serving a sentence for a crime consistently denied."

At the trial, the judge told Evans: "The complainant was 19-years-of-age and was extremely intoxicated.

"CCTV footage shows, in my view, the extent of her intoxication when she stumbled into your friend.

"As the jury have found, she was in no condition to have sexual intercourse.

"When you arrived at the hotel, you must have realised that."

Police gave the woman a new identity after her lifelong anonymity — protection afforded to those subjected to a sexual assault — was breached on the internet.

She was named at least 6,000 times on Twitter and labelled a "slag", "tramp", "bitch" and "whore".

The abuse amounted to "psychological GBH", a senior detective told the Daily Mail, which left the girl "traumatised".

An online petition against Evans' return to football now numbers more than 151,000. Jean Hatcher who organised the petition said: "I believe he needs to repair the damage he caused and find a way to apologise to his victim and society. If he were to return to high-profile football it would send the message that rape isn't that big a deal."

It was reported in several newspapers that Evans was expected to sign a two-year deal worth £500,000 with Sheffield United.

Kevin McCabe, co-chairman of the football club said the suggestion was "false and damaging". However, he added that United were "continuing to deliberate on any long-term decision about Ched Evans".