When Petr Cech, then with Chelsea, got injured early in their game against Reading 10 years ago, only a few people knew how serious it was. Only a few people knew the goalkeeper, who has since then gone on to become one of the best ever in the league, would have a brush with death and still live to tell the tale.
Things could have been different,” Cech told Skysports.
And it could have been different really because of the controversy that surrounded the time the ambulance came around.
“The doctors tried not to scare me too much and I never asked too much.
“But if you ask my wife, even now, she does not look too well. For her, the experience was a thousand times worse than it was for me.
“It was a close call.”
Even though he crawled from the field himself, Cech claimed he lost consciousness and came round again as his condition deteriorated.
“I lost consciousness, then I came round again. Some people, they did not like me too much because I was confused and sometimes when you’re confused you try to fight!”
Although Cech claimed he had no memory of what happened afterwards, he could still remember the part played by the Chelsea Medical Guys and the Specialist Unit at Oxford who realised the seriousness of his condition and he believes that if the incident had happened at another ground, further from that hospital, he probably wouldn’t have made it.
“I had a depressed skull fracture. A few pieces of bone went in quite deep, that was the biggest danger.
“The more they go in, the left side of the brain (where Cech was injured) is quite an important centre of movement. Anything could happen.”
Two metal plates were fitted. The days he can’t remember followed but gradually he did begin to recover. In terms of his career, Cech was told, at the very least, to forget the rest of the season. But just three months after his life-threatening injuries, he returned.
The Cech incident changed the Premier League for the better as they had to make regulations in anticipation of the worst.
According to Cech, a lot of lives had been saved since then most notably that of Fabrice Muamba.