Football unites for Petrov

Updated: April 1, 2012

An emotional Villa Park showed their support for Stiliyan Petrov yesterday.

The 32 year old was in the stands for the clash with Chelsea just 24 hours after being diagnosed with acute leukaemia.

The Bulgarian International, who is due to start treatment on Monday, said football would have “to take a back seat for a while” however he took his place in the stands for Saturday’s game and would have taken great support from the reception he received.

Both sets of players wore “support Stan” messages in the warm-up, something which will be repeated in today’s SPL clash between his former club Celtic and St Johnstone.

Then in the 19th minute of the game, chosen to match Petrov’s shirt number, the whole ground and both benches stood up in applause and chanted his name.

Football has received a wakeup call in recent weeks following the cardiac arrest suffered by Fabrice Muamab and now Petrov and the player revealed that he had taken strength from Muamba’s recent battle

The Bulgarian said he had seen a photo of Muamba posted by his family to on Twitter showing him sitting up in bed at the London Chest Hospital.

“I saw the picture released yesterday by Fabrice Muamba, my fellow player, and it has inspired me as has all of the support in the past 24 hours,” Petrov said.

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