Stiliyan Petrov, the bubbly, battling Bulgarian affectionately known as ‘Stan’, made his Aston Villa debut in a game against West Ham at Upton Park in September 2006. Having been there that day, I remember his impressive debut and it was therefore no surprise that Stan established himself as a fans’ favourite and an amazing ambassador for the club over six seasons.

Last March, the claret and blue community was rocked by the devastating news of Stan’s diagnosis with acute leukaemia.

Since then, we’ve publicly shown our support to our club captain with the applause in the nineteenth minute of each game.

In August, we were all delighted to hear that Stan was in remission.

Today, the Bulgarian announced his retirement from football, issuing a statement that sums up his courage and positivity. His intention to establish a foundation to support others diagnosed with leukaemia is a testament to his character and shows why Villans hold him so dear. Although the news of Stan’s retirement wasn’t entirely unexpected, it’s a sad day for Aston Villa all the same.

On Saturday, we have a chance to show our appreciation in the presence of the man himself – during the match and as he leads the team out for the annual lap of appreciation. With only 1,500 tickets left for Saturday’s game against Chelsea, I’m hoping to see Villa Park packed to the rafters to wish Stan well in his retirement and to reiterate our support as he leaves football to continue his fight against leukaemia. If you haven’t got a ticket already, grab one now and join us in honouring Stan, a great footballer and a true gentleman.

Stan, we salute you.


  1. HI

    I am not an Aston Villa Fan however I have been a Fan of Stillian since I first met him in Brussels when he was playing for the Bulgarian national team against Belgium we also travelled back with him on the plane after he played against Wales when God decided to give him this terrible illness which has led to his early retirement it was one of the worst things that could have happened to an amazing player and a truly brilliant person I hope that in the future he makes a success of whatever he turns his hand to and look forward to his continued recovery from this discease

    Robbie Janis and Stephie (the scottish friends of Bonitcho Todorov)

  2. Sad news for us all but we can be thankful Stan’s here to retire at all & wish him all the very best tomorrow. Hope it will be a sell out for Stan & maybe he can even spur us to 1 more win. See Stan’s being inducted into the Villa Hall of Fame. Nice gesture for a top bloke.

  3. I’d like to echo the thoughts of Robert and Tom. I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting Stan but I have only ever heard good things about him. It would be brilliant if we could keep him on at the Villa in some kind of prominent capacity. If not a Villa v Celtic testimonial at Villa Park would be a great and emotional send off. Good luck in whatever you do Stan. Come on today Villa let’s do it for Stan.


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