Stiliyan Petrov has today been diagnosed with leukemia, news which has stunned the football world, coming so shortly after Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch against Spurs.
Petrov has played over 200 games for Villa, and has during that time obtained the captains armband, he is a generous and friendly character and is held in high esteem by all those involved in Football. As well as being a Villa legend, Petrov made 288 appearances for Celtic and over 100 appearances for his native Bulgaria, loyalty that is rarely seen in modern football and that ensures his brilliant reputation.
Former teammates such as Neil Lennon and Paul Lambert have today expressed their concern and support in what continues to be a tough period off the pitch for footballers and other footballing staff. Lennon said in his press conference ”
“We are all absolutely devastated to hear this news. As a member of the Celtic family, it is important for Stiliyan to know that he has our unequivocal support in battling against this disease. Knowing Stiliyan as I do, and the many obstacles he has overcome in his life to get to the peak of his career, he will overcome this one too. On behalf of the players and the backroom staff we send our support and best wishes to Stiliyan, Paulina and the family.” The world of Twitter has showed its positive side today, the likes of Gary Lineker, Darren Bent and Shay Given all tweeted messages of support.
As we all said after the shocking Muamba incident, times like these put the game we love into perspective and everybody’s thoughts will be with both Fabrice and Stiliyan throughout their respective struggles. We’ll keep you up to date with both and would like to also send our best wishes to Stiliyan.
Stiliyan Petrov, The North Stand salutes you!