Celtic Park

Next Game

Celtic v Inverness

Sunday, 24 May 2015, 12:30

Scots Prem

McDiarmid Park

Last Game

St J'stone 0 - 0 Celtic

Friday, 15 May 2015, 19:45

Scots Prem

Lennon leads Petrov tributes

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has led the tributes to Aston Villa's Stiliyan Petrov after he announced his retirement from football.

Last Updated: 09/05/13 at 15:54 Post Comment

Neil Lennon and Stiliyan Petrov: During their time together at Celtic

Neil Lennon and Stiliyan Petrov: During their time together at Celtic

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Lennon spent six seasons playing alongside Petrov in the Celtic midfield, winning four Scottish Premier titles.

The Northern Irishman said: "Obviously it's very sad that Stiliyan has announced his retirement from football.

"He was a fine footballer and enjoyed a magnificent career at Celtic and Aston Villa, as well as representing and captaining Bulgaria on many occasions.

"It was a pleasure to play alongside such a great footballer, but, for me, I'm even luckier to call him my friend."

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell added: "The thoughts and best wishes of the whole Celtic Family are with Stiliyan, as they have been ever since we first heard the terrible news about his illness.

"I think the way he has coped with this and battled it, is in keeping with the type of character he is."

Petrov will lead out his team-mates and their families for their lap of appreciation following Saturday's home game with Chelsea and former Villa player Ian Taylor says it will be an emotional afternoon.

Taylor tweeted: Stiliyan has been a fantastic servant and role model for Aston Villa. The 19th minute is going to be amazing and emotional. Good luck Petrov."

Tributes

A number of professional footballers have also tweeted their tributes to Petrov.

Former teammate Gary Cahill said: "He was fantastic. He captained me a few times when I was there.

"I am sure you will have heard already that he was not just a quality footballer but as a guy, a family man, he was top drawer.

"He has got a lot of friends in the game so it is sad to see that, but I wish him all the best. He was a really nice guy."

Fabrice Muamba said: "Petrov is a gentleman on and off the pitch. I speak from experience when I say things can only get better from here. God bless you and your family.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany said: "I wish Stiliyan Petrov all the best for this new chapter in his life. It's sad to see a great captain and a great man retiring in his prime."

Football Association chairman David Bernstein offered his own tribute to Petrov.

"On behalf of The FA, I would like to pay tribute to Stiliyan Petrov upon his retirement and reiterate our support as he continues to be treated for acute leukaemia," Bernstein told www.thefa.com.

"As a player for club and country, he was a tremendous ambassador for the game and I am sure the football family will continue to show their friendship and backing for Stiliyan.

"The news that he wants to launch a foundation to help others coping with cancer is testament to his character. I am sure the foundation will be a great success.

"Our thoughts at The FA remain with Stiliyan and his family."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

Raheem Sterling would interest Manchester City – Sky sources

Manchester City would be interested in signing Raheem Sterling if he were to become available, according to Sky sources.

Alan Pardew not sure Crystal Palace can match fine season in 2015-16

Alan Pardew says it is going to be difficult to repeat Crystal Palace's sensational second half of the season when the 2015-16 campaign starts.

Tim Sherwood expects Christian Benteke to remain Aston Villa player

Tim Sherwood is convinced Christian Benteke wants to stay at Aston Villa, although he has not broached the subject with him.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company