Beattie released by United



First published in Football League

Former Saints striker James Beattie has been released by Sheffield United – one of 11 players let go following the club's npower League One play-off final heartache.

Beattie, who missed the play-offs through suspension after being sent off on the last day of the regular season at Exeter, only rejoined the club last autumn. He made two League 1 starts in 2011/12, plus 16 off the bench, and failed to score at all.

Ched Evans, whose 35 goals helped fire the Blades to the brink of automatic promotion before he missed the last three games of the regular season after being found guilty of rape and sentenced to serve five years in prison, has also been released.

The Blades paid £3m to Manchester City for Evans in the summer of 2009 and the 23-year-old, who signed a three-year contract, made 113 appearances, scoring a total of 48 goals.

Goalkeeper Steve Simonsen, 33, has also been released.

Simonsen made a series of oustanding saves in Saturday's penalty shoot-out defeat to Huddersfield before missing the decisive spot-kick in their agonising 8-7 defeat.

The former Everton and Stoke goalkeeper, a free signing after an initial loan spell in July 2010, made 103 starts for the Blades.

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