- Petr Cech (October 14, 2006 Reading vs Chelsea)
Proving that it’s not just outfield players who are at risk when playing the beautiful game, Chelsea goalkeeper Cech nearly lost his life following a controversial challenge from Reading’s Stephen Hunt.
Cech was left severely concussed after being kneed in the head by the Irish midfielder and collapsed in the dressing room after being carried from the playing area.
Amid fears he had suffered a blood clot, the giant keeper was rushed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery for a depressed fractured of the skull.
After originally being told he would be out of football for at least a year, Cech made a miraculous return to the Chelsea first team just three months later.
To make a statement of the gravity of his injury, the doctors had to make the Czech stopper to start wearing a rugby-style head guard when playing, the guard protects the areas of his skull weakened by the collision with Hunt.