REDDITCH United manager Liam McDonald said he had no qualms about offering defender Clayton McDonald the chance to continue resurrecting his career at the Valley Stadium.
In April 2012 Clayton McDonald, now 26, was acquitted of the rape of a woman in a hotel in the case which saw his co-defendant and former Manchester City team-mate Ched Evans convicted of the charge and sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Clayton McDonald, who boasts Walsall and Port Vale among his former clubs in a career which has seen him play more than 100 Football League games, has joined the Reds until the end of the season and his new manager said the player had the full support of everyone connected with the club.
“Clayton has been found not guilty of the charge and this is an opportunity for him to start a clean slate.” said Liam McDonald.
“The past couple of years have been extremely tough for Clayton and his family and he deserves the chance to be playing football again.
“This is about the future now and Clayton has been a tremendous character to be around during his time at the club so far.
“He is a Football League standard player and I and everyone here wishes to help him on the road back there.
“Our club ethos is all about giving players the opportunity to better themselves as we have done with many young players and the situation is no different with Clayton.
“I am confident our fans will support and back him because he’s been a class act around his team-mates and myself.”
The boss added: “Clayton has been coming to training and matches from his Manchester home because he wants a chance and he has turned down much more beneficial financial packages from other clubs to be here.
“That says a lot about him and his desire to rebuild his life after this difficult period.
“He’s a fantastic footballer and I’m very pleased to have him at Redditch United.”
UNITED were boosted this week by the news that influential midfielder Ashley Sammons has decided to stay at the Valley following a seven-day approach for his services from Stourbridge.
The deal offered to Sammons was “a very good one” according to delighted Reds boss Liam McDonald.