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Girlfriend Of Rapist Ched Evans Confirms He Wants To Play Football When Released From Prison

“It’s all Ched knows, he’s played football since he was little."

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The girlfriend of convicted rapist Ched Evans has confirmed that he's hoping to return to professional football when he's released from prison later this month.

This Morning/ITV / Via itv.com

Natasha Massey appeared on ITV's This Morning on Tuesday alongside Evans' sister Kylie.

In 2012, Evans was found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room.

EMPICS Sport/Mike Egerton

The 25-year-old admitted to having sex with the woman but she said she had no memory of the event and the prosecution said she was too drunk to give consent.

The footballer was handed a five-year sentence, and is due to be released in the coming weeks after serving two years behind bars.

Reports that his former club, Sheffield United, are planning to re-sign him following his release have sparked a heated debate and petitions for and against allowing him to play again.

On This Morning, Massey discussed the possibility of him returning to Bramall Lane.

ITV/This Morning / Via itv.com

“It’s all Ched knows, he’s played football since he was little," she said. "It’s out of our hands. We don't know.

"I’m just his partner, I don’t get involved in the football side. What I do know is Ched would love to return to football and continue doing what he does best and what he loves."

Massey said it was heartbreaking when she found out her boyfriend of two years had cheated on her, but when he was questioned by police over an allegation of rape she decided to be protective and stand by him.

ITV/This Morning / Via itv.com

“My thought and feelings about the cheating had to be put to one side," she told hosts Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden. "[I] stepped in to help Ched through this terrible time.

"I love him and I’ll continue to stand by him."

When pushed on whether she could trust Evans, she replied: "Yeah, 100%."

Yesterday TV host Judy Finnigan was criticised for defending Evans on an episode of Loose Women.

The 66-year-old said: "He's served his time. The rape – and I'm not by any means minimising any kind of rape – but the rape was not violent. He didn't cause any bodily harm to the person.

"It was unpleasant. In a hotel room, I believe, and she was – she had far too much to drink. And, you know, that is reprehensible, but he has been convicted and he has served his time.

"Now, when he comes out, what are we supposed to do? Just actually refuse to let him do his job? Even though he has already been punished?"

Finnigan later released a statement apologising for any offence her comments may have caused.

Sheffield United have yet to confirm or deny the reports claiming Evans may receive a new contract.

Richard James is acting head of news for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

Contact Richard James at richard.james@buzzfeed.com.

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