Foootball shocked by Petrov news

The football world was shocked by the news that the Aston Villa captain Stilian Petrov had been diagnosed with acute leukaemia. The news about the 32 year-old, known as Stan, brought messages of support from all areas of football.

The player developed a fever after playing against Arsenal, and a routine medical check revealed the condition. The club announced the news with a statement: "We expect to learn more about Stilian's situation in due course. Stilian 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 Villa manager Alex McLeish took an optimistic outlook. "Put it this way, this is the first day of his recovery," McLeish said. "We think it is in the early stages and Stan will get the best medical attention possible. I spoke to him and he was typical Stan – defiant. He is concerned obviously about how it has affected his loved ones."

Petrov attended Villa’s match against Chelsea, and revealed that he had been encouraged by the miraculous recovery of Fabrice Muamba. "I saw the picture released by Fabrice Muamba, my fellow player, and it has inspired me," he said, "as has all of the support in the past 24 hours."

Leukaemia expert Chris Bunce told The Guardian that the player’s relative youth will be an asset in deciding on the course of treatment. "Stilian will be able to take more aggressive therapy because he is younger," he said "And being fit should mean he will respond better to the treatment."

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