Petrov's appreciation for Villa fans
Aston Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov admits he has taken "great strength" from the depth of support in his battle to overcome acute leukaemia after the club confirmed the midfielder is in remission.
Bulgarian international Petrov has been undergoing regular treatment at a London hospital since the illness was diagnosed just over four months ago. Now the player nicknamed 'Stan' has received a positive bulletin in his battle to defeat the cancer.
Villa, in a club statement, said: "It is with great delight that the club can confirm on behalf of our long-standing captain, Stiliyan Petrov, that Stan's acute leukaemia is in remission."
The statement went on: "Stan's fight is not over. There will be further battles to overcome in the days, weeks and months ahead.
"But he would like to share with you this tremendous news now and, in time, deliver his own personal message to all of you."
The statement adds: "Stan also wishes to place on record again his profound sense of appreciation for the incredible outpouring of love and support he has received from Villa fans, his team-mates and colleagues at the club, as well as football fans and many more people around the world during this period.
"Stan and his family have been moved by the depth of feeling stirred in so many people and he has taken great strength from it, too."
Villa fans applauded throughout the 19th minute of games towards the end of last season - the number of Petrov's shirt during his six years at the club.
Jonathan Fear of the leading Villa fans' website 'Vital Villa' said: "The fans are relieved and delighted that Stiliyan has won the first part of the battle.
"We know there are still battles ahead but he is so positive about beating this illness and his attitude has been spot on. There is a lot of love and respect amongst the Villa fans for Stan."