OXFORD City Stars have announced the signing of football legend Petr Cech.

The former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper won every club honour possible with the Blues, while the Stars will be the third ice hockey side he has played for since retiring from football.

This newspaper understands the 41-year-old was interested in joining the Oxpens side last summer, but a deal was unable to be finalised due to logistical reasons.

READ AGAIN: Petr Cech puts in man of the match display during debut at Oxpens

Cech, who holds Chelsea’s clean sheet record after 11 years with the club, is now looking forward to getting his goaltender career with Oxford underway in the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) Division 1 South, the third tier in Britain.

He told the Stars website: “I am really excited for a new chapter with Oxford City Stars, I’ve heard good things about the club and I’m looking forward to playing again with some of my ex-teammates.

“It’s clear Oxford have big ambitions and I hope I can help them with those.

“Personally I’m looking forward to building on the experience with Chelmsford Chieftains in NIHL1 last season and helping the team to reach new heights this coming season.”

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After retiring from football in 2019, Cech initially signed for Guildford Phoenix later that year, and then spent last season with the Chieftains.

In November, he put in a man of the match display on his Chieftains debut at Oxpens, as the Stars were beaten 6-4.

Shane Moore, head of hockey operations at the Stars, said: “We were aware that Petr was looking for a team last season, but at the time we were already full with goalies and non-British-trained players.

“So this off-season, when we knew he was available, it was an opportunity I really wanted to explore.

“It’s not just our team that will benefit from Petr Cech’s arrival.

“I anticipate the positive impact this signing will have on our sport as a whole, the community and the city.

“With his magnetic personality and unwavering dedication to giving back, Cech will inspire the next generation of aspiring ice hockey players in Oxfordshire and beyond.

“I envision his presence as a catalyst for growth, fostering a love for the sport, and as a club we want to nurture young talent to reach their full potential.”

After spells with Sparta Prague and Rennes, Cech signed for Chelsea in a £7 million move in 2004.

He spent 11 years at Stamford Bridge, collecting 13 major honours, before joining Arsenal, where he added another FA Cup medal to his collection.

Stars said in a statement: “Being able to attract a sporting legend to the club shows the club’s intentions and commitment to growing the sport in Oxford.

“He brings a wealth of experience and knows what it takes to win. Just having him around the club will elevate us all as we strive for excellence this season.

“The signing of Petr Cech is a testament to Oxford City Stars’ commitment to excellence and our unyielding pursuit of growth for the sport here at Oxpens Road.

“We are pleased and humbled that Cech has recognised the potential of our team, choosing to join us on this thrilling journey ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

“His arrival brings a wealth of experience, leadership, and goaltending prowess that will undoubtedly inspire our players and electrify our loyal fans.”

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About the author

To sign up to Liam’s latest Oxford United newsletter for free, click here: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/newsletters/

Formerly the politics reporter for the Oxford Mail, Liam now covers all things Oxford United.

Liam attends the U’s home and away, as well as covering other big sports stories across the county.

His Oxford United newsletter is released every Saturday morning at 6am.