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Stiliyan Petrov says he is lucky to be alive following leukaemia battle

I’m lucky to be alive! Villa captain Petrov reveals he is on the road to recovery in leukaemia battle

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

12:47 GMT, 17 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:09 GMT, 17 April 2013

Stiliyan Petrov has revealed he is on the road to recovery following a battle with leukaemia after being diagnosed with the disease in March last year, saying he is lucky to be alive.

The Aston Villa club captain spoke about his experience with treatment for the disease and his appreciation of the fans who supported him at matches.

Defender Petrov, who has won 106 caps for his native Bulgaria, has not retired from the professional game and said he is lucky, due to the amount of people who die from the leukaemia.

Happy Birthday: Stiliyan Petrov has revealed he is on the road to recovery following his battle with leukaemia

Happy Birthday: Stiliyan Petrov has revealed he is on the road to recovery following his battle with leukaemia

'When it happened I knew what kind of
disease it was but I didn’t know anything about what kind of treatment
it was,' he told AVFC.co.uk

'While the treatment was going on I
was surprised how long things were dragging on, it kept dragging and I
kept thinking “when is this going to finish” but with a lot of patience
and a lot of support from family and friends and everybody I managed to
pull through. I had my hard moments but I had good moments as well.

'I can say I’m lucky because some
people with this disease will die very quickly and I managed to keep
battling and still be here, still standing. It’s really good, that’s a
great thing.'

Salute: Petrov acknowledges the Villa Park crowd, showing their support by applauding in the 19th minute

Salute: Petrov acknowledges the Villa Park crowd, showing their support by applauding in the 19th minute

Villa

Villa fans hold an applause in the 19th
minute of every game – marking Petrov's squad number – and the
midfielder paid tribute to the supporters who have stood by their
skipper.

'Yeah, the 19th minute has been just
incredible. It’s just showing their appreciation and their support. I
don’t know how I can thank the fans because it’s been incredible.

'Sometimes I have a joke with some
friends when they text me saying, ‘You’ve still got that applause in the
19th minute, when are they going to stop!’ But it’s been incredible.

Touching: Young Villa fans hold up a message in support of their captain

Touching: Young Villa fans hold up a message in support of their captain

In action: Villa skipper Petrov playing last season before the diagnosis ruled him out of contention

In action: Villa skipper Petrov playing last season before the diagnosis ruled him out of contention

'I’ve got a great wife, a strong,
great wife and she’s been unbelievable, incredible in this journey. The
kids as well, my mom and dad, my brother, my wife’s mum, they’ve all
been so strong and close beside me. Other friends as well, I can’t start
naming names because there are so many, they’ve been so supportive
every single day.

'To have support every single day from
people who have their own problems and their own life but they keep
finding the time to send you a message or call you, it’s just
unbelievable.'

Thoughts: Tributes to Petrov were displayed by teams around the Premier League

Thoughts: Tributes to Petrov were displayed by teams around the Premier League

Petrov also spoke about the club's current form, and has backed his team-mates to stave off any relegation fears after seeing Saturday's 1-1 draw against Fulham.

'I was there at the game against Fulham and I’ve come to a lot of games this season when I’ve had the chance,' Petrov said.

Back on track: Petrov was watching Villa's 1-1 draw against Fulham, with Charles N'Zogbia's opener (above)

Back on track: Petrov was watching Villa's 1-1 draw against Fulham, with Charles N'Zogbia's opener (above)

'I needed to have clearance from the doctors to go around crowded areas, so I constantly needed to be feeling well in order for me to be around people.

'I was really impressed by the performance against Fulham because the boys kept going right until the last minute. There are still a lot of games to come, a lot of points to be picked up, so there’s nothing to worry about.'

Premier League team news for April 6-8

All the Premier League team news ahead of the weekend

PUBLISHED:

07:51 GMT, 5 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:53 GMT, 5 April 2013

Sportsmail brings you the latest squad news on every Barclays Premier League team as it breaks ahead of another action-packed weekend.

Simply click on your team (when it appears in blue) in the fixture list below to find out who is injured and who is back in action…

Resistance: Heavy rain this winter will be no problem for the Maxim

SATURDAY

Reading v Southampton 12.45pm

Norwich v Swansea 3pm

Stoke v Aston Villa 3pm

West Brom v Arsenal 3pm

SUNDAY

Liverpool v West Ham 1.30pm

Tottenham v Everton 2.05pm

Chelsea v Sunderland 3pm

Newcastle v Fulham 3pm

QPR v Wigan 4.10pm

MONDAY

Manchester United v Manchester City 8pm

Premier League team news for March 16-17

All the Premier League team news ahead of the weekend

PUBLISHED:

07:42 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:55 GMT, 15 March 2013

Sportsmail brings you the latest squad news on every Barclays Premier League team as it breaks ahead of another action-packed weekend.

Simply click on your team (when it appears in blue) in the fixture list below to find out who is injured and who is back in action…

Resistance: Heavy rain this winter will be no problem for the Maxim

SATURDAY

Everton v Manchester City 12.45pm

Aston Villa v QPR 3pm

Southampton v Liverpool 3pm

Stoke v West Bromwich 3pm

Swansea v Arsenal 3pm

Manchester United v Reading 5.30pm

SUNDAY

Sunderland v Norwich 1.30pm

Tottenham v Fulham 3pm

Chelsea v West Ham 4pm

Wigan v Newcastle 4pm

Jack Rodwell suffers injury in Manchester City game at Aston Villa

Rodwell injury curse strikes again after Man City midfielder limps off at Villa Park

By
Alex Horlock

PUBLISHED:

20:37 GMT, 4 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:58 GMT, 4 March 2013

Jack Rodwell suffered yet another setback in his injury-plagued Manchester City career after hobbling off the pitch at Villa Park this evening.

Little over 20 minutes into City's match against Paul Lambert's Aston Villa, Rodwell pulled up after letting fly with a powerful shot on Brad Guzan's goal.

The midfielder, who made his first start for City since September during their 2-0 win
over Chelsea last weekend, was tonight making his 11th appearance for the champions
this season, but was replaced by the club's top scorer Edin Dzeko
having limped off clutching his hamstring and holding his head in his hands.

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

The 21-year-old, who joined City in a
12million move from Everton last summer, spoke just last week about his
belief that he had put his injuries behind him.

The England international added that
he had harboured doubts about his ability to withstand the rigours of a
career in football having seen his short spell in the professional game marred
repeatedly by injury during his time on Merseyside and in Manchester.

Rodwell said ahead of City's clash against Chelsea: 'At Everton
last season I doubted whether I was built for it.

'To be honest, I did
think the worst but I had to take the positives and think I'm still
young and in a great position at one of the best teams in the world.

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

'I had between five and 10 setbacks,
and that's not just from the original injury. It's mentally hard. There
are times when you're set back again and you don't know what to do.

'Before the last five or six weeks I
used to go into training and was never confident. I was just praying I
got through it and that's just not the way to be at all.'

Premier League team news for February 23-25

All the Barclays Premier League team news ahead of the weekend

PUBLISHED:

08:57 GMT, 22 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:56 GMT, 22 February 2013

Sportsmail brings you the latest squad news on every Barclays Premier League team as it breaks ahead of another action-packed weekend.

Simply click on your team (when it appears in blue) in the fixture list below to find out who is injured and who is back in action…

Resistance: Heavy rain this winter will be no problem for the Maxim

SATURDAY

Fulham v Stoke 12.45pm

Arsenal v Aston Villa 3pm

Norwich v Everton 3pm

QPR v Manchester United 3pm

Reading v Wigan 3pm

West Brom v Sunderland 3pm

SUNDAY

Manchester City v Chelsea 1.30pm

Newcastle v Southampton 1.30pm

MONDAY

West Ham v Tottenham 8pm

Aston Villa v West Ham live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Aston Villa v West Ham – as it happens from Villa Park

for their last triumph on the road.

Villa will be desperate for three points in their bid to escape the clutches of the bottom three but they will also be keen to avoid a repeat of their clash with the east London side from earlier in the season when Sam Allardyce's side recorded a 1-0 win at Upton Park to start the 2012/13 campaign.

Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Half-time: Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

45+2min: Carroll has lacked service so far, despite West Ham winning a number of free-kicks, and his frustration in the first 45 minutes is summed up by one wild left foot swing from 25 yards that flies well off target.

45+1min: There will be four minutes added on.

44min: The first booking of the afternoon goes to West Ham's Emmanuel Pogatetz after the defender chops down Charles N'Zogbia to bring an immediate half to an Aston Villa counter attack.

42min: After a spell of West Ham pressure, Villa are once more looking the more likely to score. But as we approach half-time, all the goalmouth action has taken place inside the first 120 seconds.

39min: I thought it would be West Ham who would be closer to scoring from set-pieces but Villa nearly score from one of their own. A corner to the near post finds Ron Vlaar, whose half-volley on to the greasy surface bounces a yard over the bar.

37min: Terrific defending from Clark. West Ham do well to find Demel in space on the right, and his low cross is destined for an unmarked Joe Cole in the centre before the Villa defender gets a vital touch on the slide to intercept and allow Guzan to gather.

35min: The last five minutes have seen West Ham come back into this game, but despite winning a couple of free-kicks, the Villa defence has coped comfortably with Guzan keen to come off his line to punch clear any aerial bombardment.

32min: Another sign of the threat Carroll possesses as the striker wins a header inside the Villa box from a cross. The striker is off balance though and his effort loops comfortably into Guzan's arms.

30min: A rare charge forward from West Ham, and it comes form a neat passing exchange on the ground too as Matty Taylor releases Mohamed Diame down the left wing into the penalty box.

From there though it very quickly falls apart as the midfielder blasts a low cross into the near post side netting. Huge waste.

27min: Villa are starting to gain more control in this game but every time they get near the West Ham box there are a wall of bodies denying them a shot on goal. The Hammers are struggling to get out of their own half.

24min: With O'Brien's day done, Guy Demel has come on for the Hammers.

23min: This is turning into a war of attrition. Joey O'Brien has limped off the pitch for West Ham while Tomkins takes an accidental boot to the face from Delph after making a superb sliding tackle on the touchline. The West Ham medical team are making sure he still has all of his teeth after that one.

20min: The game has stopped momentarily as Baker receives more attention as blood starts to seep out of his Vaseline covered head following that earlier clash with Carroll.

Meanwhile the home fans as usual applaud in unison in the 19th minute to observe club captain, Stiliyan Petrov's battle against illness.

18min: Good footwork from Fabian Delph sees him dodge a couple of challenges in the West Ham half before he wins a free-kick 35 yards out. The ball is swung towards the back post but Benteke heads the difficult chance wide.

16min: It's been a nervous affair so far. West Ham remain content with a more direct playing style while Villa for all their effort just lack quality trying to pierce the West Ham backline.

13min: From InfostradaLive:

West Ham United have scored three opening goals in their away PL matches this season, together with Wigan, Norwich and Fulham least of all clubs. Villa have scored the opener in four of their home matches this PL season, only QPR (2) have less.

Miss of the season Andreas Weimann reacts after missing a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Villa

Miss of the season Andreas Weimann reacts after missing a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Villa

10min: James Tomkins produces a neat sliding tackle to deny Weimann a chance to cross from inside the box and Villa win their first corner.

It's cleared but shortly after winning a second corner, Nathan Baker and Carroll clash heads trying to head the ball and play has stopped for a minute or two while they receive treatment. Both look like they will be okay to continue once they stop seeing stars.

8min: Villa are showing the more attacking purpose so far but apart from that horror miss from Weimann ( I wonder what Darren Bent made of that on the sub's bench) we haven't seen any more chances.

5min: Otherwise it's a bright start from Villa who have controlled possession, but they do concede a free-kick in the centre-circle and you know what comes next.

West Ham pump a long high ball into the box for Andy Carroll, who wins a flick on and pounces on a loose ball to loop a shot just over Brad Guzan's crossbar.

2min: Miss of the season, there I said it! It's a horrible moment all round as Christian Benteke's low shot towards the near post from 20 yards is ludicrously fumbled by West Ham keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, only for Andreas Weimann to somehow place the rebound wide of the post with an open goal staring him in the face.

1min: From OptaJoe:

1 – West Ham have taken one point from the last 21 available on the road, scoring just five in their last nine PL away games. Travels.

Kick-off: Villa get us going.

Greetings: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (left) and his opposite Aston Villa number, Paul Lambert shake hands before kick-off

Greetings: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (left) and his opposite Aston Villa number, Paul Lambert shake hands before kick-off

13.27: Out come the players and speaking of claret and blue there are many empty seats inside Villa Park.

13.24: The players are in the tunnel with Aston Villa standing in claret and blue opposite West Ham…who are also in claret and blue.

The Hammers are in their more blue based away kit but this could hurt my eyes.

13.19: From InfostradaLive:

West Ham have failed to win in their last five PL visits to Villa Park, failing to score on four occasions. Their only victory in the last 14 visits was in January 2006 (2-1) when Bobby Zamora and Marlon Harewood (penalty) scored. Lee Hendrie netted for Villa.

13.14: We know about Villa's troubles this term but what happened the last time they went down Sadly the team of 1987 share many similarities with Paul Lambert's strugglers from this season as I found out here.

13.09: Gabriel Agbonlahor is ruled out through illness by the way. Still though it says much about Paul Lambert's faith in Darren Bent that he picks a forward who cost 23.4m less in his starting XI over him. At least Villa have some sort of firepower on the bench though.

Team news

Team news

13.06: Full line-ups from Villa Park:

Aston Villa v West Ham
Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Weimann, Westwood, Delph, Bowery, N'Zogbia, Benteke. Subs: Given, Bent, Holman, Sylla, Dawkins, Bannan, Bennett.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Reid, Tomkins, Pogatetz, Noble, Diame, Nolan, Taylor, Joe Cole, Carroll. Subs: Spiegel, Jarvis, Carlton Cole, Vaz Te, Demel, Chamakh, O'Neil.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

13.03: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert hands a first Barclays Premier League start to striker Jordan Bowery, a 600,000 summer signing from Chesterfield, against West Ham at Villa Park.

Midfielder Fabian Delph, who has recovered from an ankle injury, and left-back Nathan Baker are recalled as Villa looked to end a run of eight league games without a win.

On-loan Wolfsburg defender Emanuel Pogatetz is given a first start by Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, with Joe Cole also brought back into the starting line-up.

Main threat: West Ham will rely on their on-loan striker Andy Carroll in attack

Main threat: West Ham will rely on their on-loan striker Andy Carroll in attack

13.00: From OptaJoe:

2 – Aston Villa have scored just two goals in their last seven Premier League matches at Villa Park. Shy.

12.57: If there is one avenue we can see West Ham scoring from today, it is through set-pieces. Judging by Aston Villa's poor record at defending them it seems a West Ham corner + Andy Carroll's headers = goals.

Villa captain Ron Vlaar claims though that he and his teammates are aware of their set-piece struggles and targeting to put things right.

12.54: Sadly of course the big talking point this morning is not about the football but about Paul Gascoigne who has been rushed into intensive care in the USA.

The former England international is said to be out of immediate danger but let's continue to hope Gazza can make a full recovery.

12.51: The Villa Park pitch looks very tidy this afternoon but the less said about the weather, the better. It's wet, cold and overcast in the West Midlands but I guess we shouldn't be too surprised – it is February folks.

12.48: Speaking of Manchester United they will attempt to go a dozen points clear at the top of the table when they take on Everton at 4pm. You can follow live coverage of that match from around 3.30pm with myself straight after the action here at Villa Park.

12.45: Yesterday's results have given Villa a big incentive to take three points today as it would see them climb out of the bottom three into 17th.

West Ham may reside in mid-table but on 30 points they are not quite out of the relegation fight. A win today though and they would be 12 points clear of the bottom three. If a gap like that would be good enough for Manchester United, then I think Sam Allardyce's team would be content too.

Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Pogatetz, Noble, Diame, Nolan, J.Cole, Taylor, Carroll.

12.35: Aston Villa starting XI:

Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Westwood, Delph, N’Zogbia, Bowery, Weimann, Benteke.

12.30: Apart from Manchester United (and we will get to them in a minute) one of the big winners from yesterday were Aston Villa, who saw the majority of their rivals battling relegation fail to pick up any points.

That's not quite job done for Paul Lambert's side this weekend though. Sitting one place off the bottom of the table they need to start winning points of their own. Today they host West Ham – a side suspect on their travels this term. Team news coming up.

Sunday's opener: Aston Villa will hope to ease relegation fears when they host West Ham at Villa Park

Sunday's opener: Aston Villa will hope to ease relegation fears when they host West Ham at Villa Park

Mansfield chairman John Radford gives boss Paul Cox an 85,000 Aston Martin as reward for thrashing Barrow

Mansfield chairman gives boss Cox an 85,000 Aston Martin as reward for thrashing Barrow

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

00:48 GMT, 10 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:50 GMT, 10 February 2013

Mansfield Town were motoring when they clocked up an 8-1 win over Barrow — and so impressed was chairman John Radford, he gave his Aston Martin to manager Paul Cox as a reward.

The keys to the 85,000 Vantage Coupe, with the registration MT51 COX, were handed over after a Matt Green hat-trick, helped wrap up a Blue Square Premier win.

Gift: John Radford rewarded his manager handsomely

Gift: John Radford rewarded his manager handsomely

Radford, 56, who is also the club’s owner, had only got to One Call Stadium at half-time after returning from Ireland and was so blown away by the 5-1 scoreline that he told Cox the car was his.

The manager said: ‘I’m not sure if it’s a wind-up. Maybe I’ll get to the car park and find a bike with some stabilisers on it.’

QPR v Norwich live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: QPR v Norwich – follow the action from Loftus Road as it happens

By
Alex Horlock

PUBLISHED:

04:00 GMT, 2 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:16 GMT, 2 February 2013

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as QPR host Norwich at Loftus Road to begin the weekend's action. The rock bottom Hoops boosted their squad in the January transfer window and take on Chris Hughton's Canaries who are without a league win in seven games.

12.16: As results have gradually improved under Redknapp at QPR, Norwich have slipped a little in recent fixtures. But the Canaries bounced back from a 5-0 hammering at Anfield by drawing 1-1 at home to Tottenham.

12.10: So Samba and Townsend start, but Loic Remy and Nedum Onuoha will play no part in the match.

Queens Park Rangers tweeted moments ago: 'Striker Loic Remy and defender Nedum Onuoha both ruled out due to injury. #QPRvNOR'

12.09: An Norwich's starting XI: Bunn, Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido, Tettey, Johnson, Snodgrass, Hoolahan, Pilkington, Holt

12.06: Here is QPR's starting line-up. No Loic Remy. Redknapp has selected Jamie Mackie to play up top: Cesar; Fabio, Samba, Hill, Traore, Wright-Phillips, Derry, Mbia, Townsend, Taarabt, Mackie

12.05: Redknapp will surely be targeting a win today. After a tricky run of games, including the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham, QPR will be keen to pile the pressure on fellow strugglers.

Should Rangers win this afternoon, they'll move within one point of Aston Villa, who face Everton at Goodison Park at 3.00pm.

12.00: Good afternoon all. There could be a few new boys making their debuts in this afternoon's early kick-off. Luciano Becchio could start up front for Norwich, as Harry Redknapp could use Jermaine Jenas, Andros Townsend and Christopher Samba – if he's fit.

The Congolese centre half joined from Anzhi for a record 12.5million on deadline day and Redknapp will be hoping Samba can keep Norwich out if he deputises at the heart of the basement boys' defence.

Saturday starters: QPR host Norwich at Loftus Road to begin the weekend's Premier League action

Saturday starters: QPR host Norwich at Loftus Road to begin the weekend's Premier League action

Premier League team news for February 1-2

All the Barclays Premier League team news ahead of the weekend

PUBLISHED:

09:00 GMT, 1 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:08 GMT, 1 February 2013

Sportsmail brings you the latest squad news on every Barclays Premier League team as it breaks ahead of another action-packed weekend.

Simply click on your team (when it appears in blue) in the fixture list below to find out who is injured and who is back in action…

Resistance: Heavy rain this winter will be no problem for the Maxim

SATURDAY

QPR v Norwich (12.45pm)

Arsenal v Stoke (3pm)

Everton v Aston Villa (3pm)

Newcastle v Chelsea (3pm)

Reading v Sunderland (3pm)

West Ham v Swansea (3pm)

Wigan v Southampton (3pm)

Fulham v Manchester United (5.30pm)

SUNDAY

West Bromwich v Tottenham (1.30pm)

Manchester City v Liverpool (4pm)

West Brom v Aston Villa live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: West Brom v Aston Villa – as it happens from the Hawthorns

By
Alex Horlock

PUBLISHED:

04:00 GMT, 19 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:06 GMT, 19 January 2013

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as West Brom host Aston Villa at the Hawthorns to conclude Saturday''s action. The Baggies will hope three points in the Midlands derby can kick start their push for European football next season, while Paul Lambert will hope victory can ease the pressure on his relegation threatened team.

17.02: We've had a hectic afternoon of top class Premier League action, but it isn't over yet. There's a Midlands derby to look forward to as Aston Villa travel to rivals West Brom in their bid to stop the rot.

Here is West Brom's starting XI: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Yacob, Brunt; Odemwingie, Morrison, Dorrans; Lukaku

And Aston Villa's: Guzan, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett, Baker, Lowton, Westwood, Delph, N’Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Benteke

Derby day: West Brom host Aston Villa at the Hawthorns as Saturday concludes with the Midlands derby

Derby day: West Brom host Aston Villa at the Hawthorns as Saturday concludes with the Midlands derby