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Petrov pays tribute to fans

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has thanked the club's fans for their support during his battle with acute leukaemia.

Last Updated: 11/05/13 at 16:54 Post Comment

Aston Villa tribute to captain Stiliyan Petrov

Aston Villa tribute to captain Stiliyan Petrov

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The Bulgarian midfielder has not played since March 2012, when he was diagnosed with the disease, and announced his retirement at the age of 33 earlier this week.

His final column in the club's matchday programme for Saturday's Premier League clash with Chelsea, focused on the club's future and the efforts of manager Paul Lambert this season.

But in his closing comments, Petrov made an emotional tribute to the fans, who have risen in applause in the 19th minute of each match, in reference to Petrov's shirt number.

He wrote: "Aston Villa will always remain in my heart.

"I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given here and, to the fans, I am so grateful for the way you have supported me over the years, especially during the past 14 months or so when you have stood with me and everything I have gone through, during the 19th minute.

"This has touched me profoundly. To have been part of this for seven years was enough to know that I have been part of something unique and special. Up the Villa!"

In his notes, Lambert added: "The 19th minute has become a symbolic expression of the special bond between Stan Petrov and the club. His retirement from football is secondary, ultimately, to his health and that he is winning his battle makes us all really happy.

"That he is here (at the game) today is inspiring to everyone associated with Villa. But the truth is that we know he'll always be here."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

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Arsenal interest in Sterling

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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