By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes

Petr Cech has had a request to remove his protective helmet rejected by medical experts.

The 33-year-old has worn protective headgear since 2007 after suffering a fractured skull following a collision with Reading’s Stephen Hunt.

The Arsenal No1 accepts the safety reasons for wearing his trademark helmet but claims it affects his communication with team-mates.

“I would be more confident if I had it off. If you like it or not, the helmet affects your surroundings,” Cech told Czech publication Tyden.

“You have your ears covered and it makes hearing worse. But the doctor has forbidden me to take off the helmet. If I did, I would not pay insurance.”

Cech was ruled out of action for three months after the clash with Hunt in the first minute of Chelsea’s 1-0 win at Reading in October 2006.

He was rushed to hospital and then transferred to the specialist neurosurgical unit at Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, where two loose pieces of skull were lifted away from the brain and replaced with metal plates.

Subsequently, the former Chelsea goalkeeper has always worn the helmet in training and in matches for club and country.