Footballer Ched Evans has won his appeal against his conviction for raping a 19-year-old woman.

But Court of Appeal judges in London have ordered that he must face a fresh trial. The decision was announced on Thursday following appeal proceedings last month.

The former Sheffield United striker and Welsh international, now 27, was convicted in April 2012He was found guilty of raping the woman at a hotel in Rhyl, North Wales and spent more than two years in jail before being released in October 2014. 

Upon his release, local club Hibernians FC sought his services. The move was controversial, with both Justice Minister Owen Bonnici and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat weighing in on the matter. 

Dr Bonnici had argued the player deserved a second chance, but Dr Muscat was not so sure, using a tweet to argue that footballers were "role models" and that the club's decision "will define them and to an extent Malta."  

The mooted move eventually turned out to be a non-starter, after the British Justice Ministry declared that his conviction precluded him from working abroad. 

Mr Evans' conviction was referred to the Court of Appeal for review by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.

Lady Justice Hallett, announcing the court's decision, said the judges had heard "fresh evidence" during the appeal hearing on March 22 and 23.

She said: "In summary, we have concluded that we must allow the appeal and that it is in the interests of justice to order a retrial."

The court quashed Evans's conviction and declared: "The appellant will be retried on the allegation of rape."

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