The former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has joined ice hockey champions Belfast Giants on loan from Oxford City Stars as temporary emergency cover.
The 41-year-old Cech, who made more than Premier League 600 appearancesand is considered as one of the best goalkeepers of the modern era, called time on his career in football at the end of the 2018-19 season before switching to ice hockey and joining the fourth-tier outfit Guildford Phoenix.
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In June the former Czech Republic international signed with third-tier Oxford City Stars from Chelmsford Chieftains as their goaltender for the 2023-24 campaign.
Petr Cech makes a save for Arsenal against Bayern Munich in 2015. Photograph: Simon Hofmann/UEFA/Getty Images
“Petr is a highly decorated athlete, who knows what it takes to perform at the highest level, so his support during this loan period will be invaluable,” said the Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe. Belfast Giants are the Elite Ice Hockey League champions for the seventh time in their history.
Cech moved to England from Rennes in 2004 as one of the early signings of Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich era. He won four Premier League titles during 11 years at Stamford Bridge, as well as five FA Cups, three League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League.
He signed for Arsenal in 2015 and played for the Gunners until hanging up his boots four years later, having made over 440 Premier League appearances in total. He also won 124 caps for the Czech Republic during a 14-year international career.