Paul Lambert considers new role for retiring Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov
Midfielder continues his fight against acute leukaemia
Friday 10 May 2013
The Aston Villa manager, Paul Lambert, is considering plans to offer Stiliyan Petrov a new role at Villa Park after the club captain confirmed his retirement as he continues his fight against acute leukaemia.
The Bulgarian midfielder, who was diagnosed in March last year and is now in remission, today announced he would not play again.
Tributes poured in for the fans' favourite, with former Celtic team-mate Lambert describing his friend as a "fantastic player" and "a nice guy with a heart of gold".
Petrov's priority will now be his health and work for his leukaemia charity, but Lambert revealed he was already mulling over a role for the popular captain. He said: "I've something in my head I'm thinking about at the minute and it's not a sentimental thing at all. It's just some things my staff and I spoke about."
Petrov will lead Villa on their traditional lap of appreciation after tomorrow's final home game against Chelsea. In a statement released by Villa, 33-year-old Petrov, who signed for Villa from Celtic in 2006, said: "I've only ever got on with my job, while remaining grateful to have great team-mates, great people around me and, most of all, a fantastic family.
"It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my retirement. The emotions are overwhelming, but the continued support of family, friends and the great people I have come to know will make it easier for me to move on from the only life I've ever known. I would also like to thank all of the managers I have worked under and all of the team-mates I have played alongside."
Supporters are planning further tributes at the last game of the season at Wigan.
Latest in Sport
David De Gea to Real Madrid: Manchester United goalkeeper spotted arriving at Madrid airport
Angel Di Maria to Bayern Munich: Manchester United to make £24m loss as club want '£35m' for Argentina flop
Wimbledon 2015: Dustin Brown knocks Rafael Nadal out of the championship
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Chelsea 2015/16 home shirt leaked again as new picture appears online
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Russell Brand condemns moment of silence for Tunisia attack victims as a 'minute of bulls**t'
- 4 'Help me I'm trapped in a factory' messages keep being found on bottles of vitamin water
- 5 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives