Chelsea legend and former Arsenal star completes surprise move to Belfast club

Petr Cech, who played for Chelsea and Arsenal during his time in football, has joined Belfast Giants on a loan move.

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Former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper turned professional Ice Hockey player Petr Cech has signed for Elite Ice Hockey League club Belfast Giants in an emergency loan deal.

Cech currently plays for Oxford City Stars in the NIHL South Division 1, the second tier of Ice Hockey in Britain, making his temporary move to Belfast a step up for him - he has never played in the top level of British Ice Hockey before.

During his time in professional football, Cech was best known for his time at Chelsea, making 333 Premier League appearances for the Blues over the course of 11 years. He joined London rivals Arsenal in 2015, before retiring in 2019. In addition to this, the former Czech Republic international played for FK Chmel Blšany, Sparta Prague and Rennes.

On Cech's arrival, Belfast Giants coach Adam Keefe said: "Petr [Cech] is a highly decorated athlete, who knows what it takes to perform at the highest level. We're very appreciative of the support of both the Oxford City Stars and Petr himself. His support during this loan period will be invaluable."

How long has Petr Cech been playing pro Ice Hockey?

When Cech retired from professional football in 2019 at the age of 37, he took up Ice Hockey, joining Guildford Phoenix as a goaltender and remaining with the club until 2022. Despite this, he also remained as a technical and performance advisor at Chelsea. He would, however, leave his post at Chelsea in 2022.

Following this, after a successful spell with Guildford in which he won a treble, Cech signed for Chelmsford Chieftains. He would only spend one season at Chelmsford before signing for Oxford City Stars in 2023, where he remains to this day - he will return to the club when his loan spell at Belfast Giants expires.

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