Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has acute leukaemia | inside World Soccer

Aston Villa announced on Friday that club captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia following blood tests this week.

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has leukemia and is fighting for his life
Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has leukemia and is fighting for his life

Photo: AP

There was no indication that the Bulgarian midfielder was facing such a severe medical setback until this week.

Villa assistant-manager Peter Grant indicated on Wednesday that Petrov was suffering from a virus.

The shock news that he was suffering from leukaemia was only confirmed on Friday afternoon when the results of tests undergone by the 32-year-old became evident.

A statement on Villa's website read: "The Villa Board received news today that our long-standing captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia.

"Stiliyan developed a fever following the Arsenal game last Saturday and subsequently underwent tests conducted by Dr Ian McGuinness. Haematology experts confirmed the diagnosis today.

"We expect to learn more about Stiliyan's situation in due course and we have moved quickly to support him and his family.

"During this time we ask that Stiliyan's privacy is placed ahead of all inquiries and trust that we will share information as we receive it.

"Stiliyan is cherished by many and he will get from Villa every ounce of love and support that we have to help bring this to a positive conclusion."

The football world have been quick to show their support for Petrov, a father of two.

Villa striker Darren Bent took to Twitter to say: "Really sad news to hear about our captain Stan Petrov. Hopefully he'll be back fighting fit soon. Thoughts are with him and his family. KTF."

Goalkeeper Shay Given tweeted: "In shock about Stiliyan Petrov... but we are all here for him and his family. Please God he makes a full recovery."

Jermaine Jenas, a former team-mate of Petrov's at Villa, said: "Just saw the news about Stan Petrov one of the nicest guys in football! Thoughts with him and his lovely family."

Petrov's former Glasgow Celtic team-mate and current Hoops manager Neil Lennon tweeted: "Absolutely inconsolable here regarding Stiliyan. He will overcome this like all the other barriers he faced in his life."

Crocked Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva wrote on Twitter: "Awful news about Petrov. Wishing him all the best with his recovery. #GetwellsoonStiliyan."

Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker, whose son George beat the blood cancer while a child, tweeted "Terribly sad... Thoughts are with him and his family."