Petrov will enlist help from Geoff Thomas in battle against leukaemia
Published 22:22 31/03/12 By Ian Edwards
Stiliyan Petrov will enlist the help of Geoff Thomas in his battle against acute leukaemia.
And the Aston Villa star has strongly refuted claims from his native Bulgaria that he has retired.
Petrov will begin treatment in London on Monday with a course of tablets and steroids, before beginning chemotherapy the following week.
He faces a gruelling six months of treatment and his representatives plan to set up a meeting with inspirational Thomas.
Petrov, 32, received an emotional ovation yesterday when attending Aston Villa’s game against Chelsea.
In a statement he said: “I would like to thank all of the people who have left messages of support. The response has been overwhelming.
“This is a difficult time for my family and myself and I ask people to respect our privacy.
“With the help and love of my family, teammates, all of my friends in football, Aston Villa and all the fans I am sure I will beat this illness.”
Thomas, the former Crystal Palace and England midfielder, is happy to help Petrov. Thomas said: “I was 37 when leukaemia struck me down in 2003. It was a bolt out of the blue.
“The first couple of days were a complete shock. It felt like I was in a dark tunnel. But it was the time to take in information and listen to professionals, doctors and nurses to see how to go forward. I put my trust and life in their hands.”