Cech joins veterans who switched sports

October 9, 2019 8:22:58 PM

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech is set to switch sports after joining British ice hockey team the Guildford Phoenix.

Here PA takes a look at five other stars who also sought a different challenge later in their careers.

Victoria Pendleton

Victoria Pendleton
Victoria Pendleton launched a horse racing career (Steven Paston/PA)

The double Olympic and nine-time world champion cyclist launched a new career as a jockey in 2015. She won her first race at Wincanton the following year, and went on to finish fifth in the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan’s baseball career went up in smoke (David Davies/PA)

The basketball superstar announced his intention to fulfil the wishes of his late father by launching a baseball career in 1993. Jordan signed minor league forms with the Chicago White Sox and went on to play for the Double-A Birmingham Barons, hitting three home runs.

Ian Botham

Soccer – Canon League Division Four – Scunthorpe United v Gillingham – Old Show Ground
Ian Botham played football for Scunthorpe (PA Archive)

Rather than wait until the end of his cricket career, Botham briefly pursued dual sporting ambitions in tandem. A talented footballer, who played in defence for both Yeovil Town and Scunthorpe between 1978 and 1985, making 11 Football League appearances for the latter.

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt sprinted to the end of his football career (Martin Rickett/PA)

After retiring from athletics Bolt pursued his desire to become a professional footballer with little success. After training with Norwegian club Stromsgodset and turning down a deal with Maltese club Valletta, Bolt joined Australian club Central Coast Mariners – but his A-League career lasted just eight weeks.

Curtis Woodhouse

Curtis Woodhouse
Curtis Woodhouse won a British boxing title (Dave Thompson/PA)

The former Sheffield United and Hull midfielder launched a professional boxing career in 2006. Woodhouse’s relatively successful career switch culminated in his winning the British light-welterweight title in 2014, with a split decision verdict over Darren Hamilton in Hull.

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