Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov told his team-mates he will win his battle against acute leukaemia in an emotional address before Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at home to Chelsea.

Petrov will begin undergoing treatment in a London hospital on Monday after being diagnosed with the illness on Friday. But that did not stop the Bulgaria international, nicknamed Stan, from attending the encounter with the Blues where he received a standing ovation from both sets of fans during the 19th minute to mark his number 19 shirt.

Villa boss Alex McLeish said: "The support Stan has had is a measure of how popular the guy is, not only here but at Celtic and the Bulgarian nation will be rooting for him. Stan is a determined guy and has said he will fight it and beat it. He told the lads that before the game in the dressing room."

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