It is not uncommon for a goalkeeper coach to be named to a team roster, especially for a lower-league club during an injury crisis.
Burton Albion's Kevin Poole was 50 years old in 2013 when several injuries forced him don the No. 13 shirt and sit on the bench for the Brewers' League Two match against Wycombe Wanderers. A month later, the Burton goalkeeper coach also dressed as a backup for three matches after first-choice keeper Jordan Pickford was recalled by parent club Sunderland.
Meanwhile, his counterpart at Wycombe, Barry Richardson, played 75 minutes of shutout soccer in 2016 after first choice keeper Alex Lynch was injured during the first half of a match against Plymouth Argyle. At age 46, this was the first competitive action Richardson had in more than eight years.
— Phil Catchpole (@bluntphil) January 30, 2016
Both of these memorable moments occurred in the wild and often wacky world of lower league football, which is why it was such a surprise when former Premier League superstar Petr Cech was named to Chelsea's 25-man Premier League roster today.
The former Czech international played for Chelsea from 2003 to 2015, making 494 appearances with the club, including four Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy. He retired with Arsenal in 2019 and recently began a position with Chelsea as an advisor.
Petr Cech won 15 trophies and kept 228 clean sheets for Chelsea from 2004 to 2015.He retired from football in 2019.
He’s been included in Chelsea’s 2020/21 Premier League squad pic.twitter.com/y0tJiICfbD
— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 20, 2020
"Petr Cech has been included in the squad as emergency goalkeeper cover," the announcement on Chelsea's website said. "This is a precautionary step due to the unprecedented conditions currently caused by the Covid-19 crisis. He takes up a position as a non-contract player."
This move makes Cech Chelsea's fourth-choice keeper behind Kepa Arrizabalaga, Edouard Mendy and veteran Willy Caballero.
"With the restart, and now playing at a fragile time, having Petr train with the goalkeepers and bring that experience is a great thing," Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said. "He’s training and keeping fit, which is healthy for him and the goalkeepers."
While it is highly unlikely Cech will appear on the pitch for Chelsea, he provides an experienced auxiliary keeper for the Blues should the club experience a COVID catastrophe.