Petrov retires from football

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has announced he is quitting football to set up a charity for leukaemia sufferers.

Last Updated: 10/05/13 at 08:09 Post Comment

Stiliyan Petrov: Intends to set up foundation to help leukaemia sufferers

Stiliyan Petrov: Intends to set up foundation to help leukaemia sufferers

The Bulgarian is in remission from the disease which was diagnosed in March 2012 after he complained of feeling fatigued during a game at Arsenal.

'Soft treatment' remains ongoing and Petrov, who won eight major trophies in seven years at Celtic before joining Villa in 2006, has decided to devote himself to charity work rather than return to football.

In a statement released on the Villa website he said: "It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my retirement from the game.

"The emotions are overwhelming really, 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.

"That I am ready to embrace new challenges will make this process much easier.

"Since being diagnosed with acute leukaemia in March 2012, I have come to understand and appreciate the way in which this disease impacts the lives of so many people.

"I can help and I want to help and, in setting up a foundation to help address the issues involved when people are diagnosed with this illness, I hope to make a difference.

"For the life I've lived in football, I will always be incredibly grateful. For the opportunity this crazy thing that happened in my life has given me, I also feel grateful in a strange kind of way.

"This crazy thing, somehow, has touched people and I want to try to channel this in a positive way. This will be the greatest challenge of my life.

"I wish to thank the fans of Aston Villa and the Villa chairman, Randy Lerner, chief executive Paul Faulkner and manager Paul Lambert, also the fans of Celtic, the Bulgarian fans and fans of football all over the world who have helped me through the past year."

Footer 365

Transfer news: Arsene Wenger admits Thomas Vermaelen could leave Arsenal this summer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger plans to make more signings this summer, but admits captain Thomas Vermaelen could leave.

Guus Hiddink vows to build on success of Holland predecessor Louis van Gaal

New Netherlands coach Guus Hiddink has vowed to build on the success of predecessor Louis van Gaal.

Leeds win High Court ruling but claim police still owe them more than £800,000

Leeds United have been paid £1.2m after the High Court ruled that they had been overcharged for policing at home games.

Mail Box

Are Villa Fans The Lowest Of Them All?

With the possible exception of Blackpool, are any club's fans feeling any more depressed about the start of the season than Villa? We also have a bizarre suggestion and...

How Can Tim Sherwood Be Out Of Work?

Don't peple know his PPG was THE BEST EVER FOR A SPURS MANAGER? We also have mails on Luis Suarez, the new fashion for 3-5-2 and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property