Petrov gets birthday surprise at Aston Villa
Fri, 06 Jul 2012 10:42a.m.
Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov was back at Villa Park for the first day of pre-season training - and received a pleasant surprise.
The Bulgarian celebrated his 33rd birthday with an unexpected cake and a stirring rendition of 'Happy Birthday' from his team mates in the humble surrounds of the staff canteen.
Petrov missed the finale of last season after being diagnosed with Leukaemia in March and has since been undergoing regular treatment.
Paul Lambert, who replaced Alex McLeish at the Villa Park helm this summer, also reiterated his, and the club's, support for Petrov and his young family as he continues treatment.
Petrov joined Villa six years ago as the first signing of the Martin O'Neill era from Celtic.
Villa supporters have undertaken a minute's applause in the 19th minute of every game since Petrov's illness was revealed.
The popular playmaker revealed that the support of the Villa faithful - as well as football fans in general - has been a great comfort through the gruelling bouts of chemotherapy since his diagnosis and that he plans on enjoying more birthdays in the future.
The Villa backroom staff have been quick to pledge their support and, amongst other initiatives, have set up a charity event to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
'Pedal for Petrov' will see some of Petrov's friends at the Midlands club cycle from his previous side, Celtic, to Villa Park from the 3rd of September.
(Pictures courtesy of AVTV) SNTV
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