Bulgarian Hero On and Off the Pitch Stiliyan Petrov: Leukemia Worse than HellSports | August 10, 2013, Saturday // 11:45| views
In remission and back at work, Petrov is now passing his experience, mental strength, shrewd advice and admirable character traits on to Villa’s next generation working alongside development coach Gordan Cowans. Photo by Mirror Sport
A month after cancer-stricken former Aston Villa captain, Bulgarian Stiliyan Petrov, reached the age of thirty-four, he has spoken completely honestly about the ordeal his and his family went though over the last year.
“I don’t know what Hell is like, but this has to be worse, I tell you that,” he told Mirror Sport.
“As a player you fight to be in the team but this you are fighting for your life and that is the main thing.
“My wife knew that, so she was pushing me as well.
“Through this period I knew I needed to have enough strength. Sometimes with the chemotherapy you change your appetite.
“My taste completely changed but I knew I needed to eat and take fluids and be disciplined.
“If I was too tired and couldn’t do anything, she was feeding me.
“Now I wake up every morning happy to see my family.
“I am trying to get a little fitter and back to normal to what I used to do but these things take time – I have two years left on the tablets.”
The former Aston Villa and Bulgarian national team captain announced his retirement from football in May 2013.
He has been fighting a brave and courageous battle since being diagnosed with leukaemia in March 2012, and he is currently in remission from the disease.
To assist others, he has set up a new charitable foundation to help address the issues involved when people receive a leukaemia diagnosis.
Petrov is now passing his experience, mental strength, shrewd advice and admirable character traits on to Villa’s next generation working alongside development coach Gordan Cowans.
“It is going to be a exciting season with a young, exciting first team.
“I am working with the reserve team and Sid Cowans. We try to make them ready to make the big step into the first team.
“At this age there are lot of ifs - if they can make it - but I want to help in this way and Paul Lambert who is my boss now.
“He is an incredible man who supported me so much.”
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