Stiliyan Petrov grateful for Aston Villa fans' support

The Villa supporters have taken to singing the Bulgarian's name in the 19th minute at each match

Stiliyan Petrov has thanked the Aston Villa fans for their support as he continues down the “long road” to beat acute leukaemia.

The Villa supporters have taken to singing the Bulgarian's name in the 19th minute at each match - Petrov wore the number 19 shirt.

And the former Celtic man, who attended a charity match between a Petrov XI and a Villa Legends XI at Halesowen at the weekend - admits their backing is helping him through an awful time.

He told the Birmingham Mail: "I'm on the edge of starting crying every single time (they sing and applaud). I really appreciate it.

"The fans have been very supportive from the start until now. It's already been eight months I've been on treatment.

"I still get cards and messages and the turnout at the charity game was just unbelievable. But that's Villa fans for you. They love the club and the players."

Petrov tries to attend as many Villa matches as possible but admitted: "I've got another priority at the moment. I'm in remission and had quite a lot of chemotherapy.

"I'm in a consolidation phase at the moment. I've got a few more cycles to go. It's been a long road and it's been tough.

"From the start, I knew it was going to be hard. I didn't know it was going to be that hard. At the end of this road, you become an even better person."

Petrov added: "People say 'live every day as if it is your last' and I enjoy seeing my family, wife, kids, mum, dad, brother.

"I am battling hard. So far it's going well which is a positive thing."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower