Stephen Hunt: No Guilt Over Petr Cech Skull Fracture Tackle


It has been over eight years since Stephen Hunt fractured Petr Cech’s skull in a Premier League match but the memory of it is still fresh in the minds of football fans everywhere. Cech suffered the injury when Hunt was chasing down a ball over the top that the keeper clearly had covered. Hunt had no chance to get to the ball but insisted on still going in for the tackle and hit the Czech keeper with his right knee square in the head. Hunt recently sat down with Mirror columnist Oliver Holt to discuss the incident and says he has “no guilt” about it.

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Cech was hurried off to the the hospital with a life-threatening injury and Hunt was cautioned by the referee but was not booked for his offense. The seriousness of the injury was not discovered until a few days after the incident when doctors revealed that Cech could easily have died had he not received such timely treatment. The fallout of the event was significant as Cech missed three months of action and some believed that he would never play again.

If he would play again then many believed he would never be the same after suffering such a serious injury. Jose Mourinho called Stephen Hunt a disgrace and blamed referee Mike Riley for not punishing him and there was an outcry for greater protection for goalkeepers. Cech eventually made his comeback to the Chelsea side three months later wearing a rugby helmet for protection. He still wears it to this day but whether that is for actual protection or for his own mental reasons is unclear.

Hunt told the Mirror that incident “haunts me, I had a lot of years at Palace and ­Brentford before I even touched the limelight. No one in Ireland knew who I was. When I was picked to start against Chelsea, I was thinking ‘my day has arrived’. All of a sudden everyone knew me but I wanted people to know me for the right reasons, not for the wrong reasons”.

He continued, “even to this day, ‘you’re the guy who did that’. There is no ­forgetting it because he wears the helmet. Everyone is reminded of it every time they see him. I wish it had never happened. Of course I do. But I don’t have any guilt. I have a clear conscience. I didn’t mean to fracture his skull. That’s one thing for sure”.

It is one thing to be sure of yourself in knowing that you did nothing wrong, but it is another to not feel any guilt over what you did. Hunt says the incident haunts him but he could have easily avoided it. He saw that Cech had control of the ball and could have simply jumped over him or moved out of the way. Instead he comes charging at a keeper in a defenseless position and fractures his skull with his knee. It was not on purpose, or at least we hope not, but the ease at which it could have been avoided is ridiculous.

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Hunt went on to have a decent enough career for a player of his caliber but his decision to not lay off on that play will overshadow his whole career. Now, instead of apologizing and saying he is sorry and that he never meant to do it, he comes out and says that he has no guilt over it. His intent aside, Hunt seriously injured another player and could have killed him so he should feel very guilty about it, even if it was an accident. Perhaps Petr Cech has forgiven Stephen Hunt for his actions that day but unless he comes out and explicitly apologizes for his actions then Chelsea fans never will.

Here is a video of the incident:

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