Petr Cech, a former star for Chelsea and Arsenal, has signed a one-year contract with ice hockey team Chelmsford Chieftains, and has already helped them win their first game.
The Essex team is in the NIHL Division One South, one level higher than the Guildford Phoenix, the former team of the Czech goalie. Before retiring this summer, he made 20 appearances for the Surrey team over the course of three years, helping them achieve a triple.
Prior to Sunday’s away game against Oxford City Stars, the 40-year-old former goalkeeper signed with the Chieftains. He started the game in goal while donning the same #39 jersey he had previously worn at the Phoenix.
According to the Stars’ Twitter account, Cech’s effort earned his team’s Man of the Match honors in the Chieftains’ 6-4 victory.
In his debut game with the Guildford team in 2019, he received the same honor.
Before Chelmsford triumphed in Oxford, Cech said: “I’m eager to take on a new challenge with the Chieftains and look forward to assisting the group in achieving our season goals.”
Mark Saunders, the Chieftains’ head coach, said to the BBC: “Having a netminder of Petr’s quality and experience come into our squad is a huge boost for us right now.”
“He brings a winning mentality, a desire to compete every single time he’s on the ice, and we look forward to seeing him add to our group this season.”
Fans reacted favorably to the signing, particularly given his record of four Premier League titles and the 2012 Champions League title while playing for Chelsea.
After Todd Boehly purchased Chelsea, Cech, who had served as the team’s technical director since 2019, resigned from his position.
Cech played junior hockey in the Czech Republic and grew up loving a variety of sports. After quitting football, he picked up Ice Hockey again and combined it with his job at Chelsea.
Cech, who was born a triplet and as a result has a weaker skull, benefits from the sport’s extremely durable helmets.
Petr Cech, a former goalkeeper for the Czech Republic national team, was born on May 20, 1982.
He also competes in semi-pro Ice Hockey as the Chelmsford Chieftains’ goaltender.
He is regarded as one of the all-time great goalkeepers and is often compared to Peter Schmeichel as the best goalkeeper in Premier League history, according to various players, analysts, and managers.
In 1999, Cech started his senior career at Chmel Blšany, where he played intermittently for the next two seasons before transferring to Sparta Prague in 2001.
At the age of 19, Cech started playing regularly for the first team, and in his first season with the squad, he set a league record by going 903 minutes without allowing a goal.
This prompted him to make his first overseas move, moving to France in 2002 to sign with Ligue 1 team Rennes for a cost of €5.5 million (£3.9 million).
Before he transferred to Premier League team Chelsea for a sum of £7 million (€9.8 million) in 2004, Cech had been a great goalkeeper for a team in France that had struggled.
Cech made 494 senior appearances during his eleven-year affiliation with the team, placing him sixth all-time and as the club’s top foreign appearance maker.
He also assisted the team in winning the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, four Premier League crowns, four FA Cups, three League Cups, and one League Cup.
Cech also has the 228-clean sheet record for Chelsea overall. Cech left Chelsea in 2015 and joined their city rivals Arsenal for £10 million, where he won another FA Cup before retiring in 2019.