Legendary goalkeeper Petr Cech is the third former Chelsea player granted the honour...
The most successful goalkeeper in Chelsea and the Premier League’s history, Cech’s 202 clean sheets in the competition – 163 of them for the Blues – remains a record by a comfortable margin.
The Czech, who played for Chelsea between 2004 and 2015, received the Golden Glove award for the top-flight’s most clean sheets in a record four separate seasons. The 24 shut-outs he accumulated in his first very Premier League campaign is also still unmatched.
On receiving the award, voted for by fans and the Premier League Awards Panel, Cech said: ‘When I was a child growing up in communist Czechoslovakia, playing in the Premier League was an unimaginable dream. When I look back to where I started, diving on rock solid pitches with stones like golf balls, it has been an amazing journey.
‘I hope to be known as someone who showed effort, commitment, and consistency. Making a great save feels the same as scoring a goal and I’m proud of my clean sheet record, but I was even more happy when those clean sheets won matches and points for the team and contributed to titles!
‘It's an honour for me to be voted into the Hall of Fame in the best league in the world. That's really a special recognition and leaves a legacy. I’m proud that fans voted for me and appreciated the way I performed over the years.’
Cech speaks of collective success there, and during his trophy-laden 11 years at Stamford Bridge he won the Premier League four times.
From the moment he was chosen ahead of Carlo Cudicini to make his debut on the opening day of that epic 04/05 campaign, in a 1-0 win over Manchester United, Cech’s quality was apparent. He commanded his box with authority, showcased his lightening reactions on regular occasions, and perhaps most impressively maintained phenomenally high levels of consistency. A Cech error was a true collector’s item.
He had to overcome a fractured skull following a collision with Reading’s Stephen Hunt early in the 2006/07 season. By working tirelessly out on the training pitch, Cech returned after three months and a man for the big occasions played a starring role in many more memorable matches in league and cup. He departed the club in June 2015 having made 494 appearances for the Blues and won 13 major honours, by far the best record by any goalkeeper to have played for Chelsea.
Cech joins his friends and long-time team-mates Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba in the Premier League Hall of Fame. It was created in 2021 as a way to recognise the achievements of the greatest names to have graced the English top flight since it became the Premier League in 1992, with the league considering it the highest honour they can bestow.
There is no worthier entrant than Cech. Congratulations, Petr!