Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ryan Mason hails 'gentleman' Petr Cech for helping him in his recovery from fractured skull

Ryan Mason called Petr Cech a 'gentleman'. CREDIT: RYAN MASON GETTY IMAGES
Ryan Mason called Petr Cech a 'gentleman'. CREDIT: RYAN MASON GETTY IMAGES

Callum Davis

Ryan Mason has revealed he regularly speaks on the phone to Petr Cech after the Arsenal goalkeeper asked to help in the midfielder's recovery from a skull fracture eight months ago.

Mason almost died after suffering a fractured skull in a mid-air collision with Chelsea's Gary Cahill.

The 26-year-old required oxygen on the pitch at Stamford Bridge and spent over a week at St Mary’s Hospital in London following emergency brain surgery.

In an exclusive interview with talksport's Jim White, the England international revealed Petr Cech asked to visit him at his home to offer advice.

Mason thanked the former Chelsea goalkeeper, who required surgery for a depressed skull fracture in October 2006 following a collision with Reading’s Stephen Hunt, for reaching out to him in his hour of need.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Petr Cech. He’s set the standards of what it is to be a proper man and a gentleman," said Mason.

“Straightaway [after the incident] he contacted my family and my fiancée and reassured us that what we were going through was normal and to be expected, with not being able to talk and struggling with light and everything like that.

“As soon as I got a bit more strength I was keen to see him because he said, ‘as soon as you’re ready, I’d like to come round and speak to you’.

“I think it was after about eight or nine weeks he came round. I was a bit worried at first because I hadn’t really spoken to anyone for longer than ten minutes.

“He walked through the door, sat on my sofa and said, ‘just sit back, don’t say anything, just listen’ and he spoke for about an hour and a half.

“I didn’t say anything, he just spoke and it was brilliant because when he left my partner said, ‘wow, the things we were a little bit worried about’. It just reassured us that everything we were going through was part of the process of recovery.

“We’ve been in touch ever since. He’s been round to the house again and we speak on the phone regularly. He’s been fantastic.”

In a separate appearance on Sky Sports' The Debate programme, Mason revealed he remains determined to make a return to the pitch.

"Physically I'm completely fine,' he said. 'But my skull still needs to do a little bit of healing. It's not fully fused together yet," said Mason.

"But when that day comes hopefully I'm in the physical condition to go straight back in."

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