Stiliyan Petrov has thanked the Aston Villa fans for their support as he continues down the "long road" to beat acute leukaemia.

The Villa supporters have taken to singing the Bulgarian's name in the 19th minute at each match - Petrov wore the number 19 shirt. And the former Celtic man, who attended a charity match between a Petrov XI and a Villa Legends XI at Halesowen at the weekend - admits their backing is helping him through an awful time.

He told the Birmingham Mail: "I'm on the edge of starting crying every single time (they sing and applaud). I really appreciate it. The fans have been very supportive from the start until now. It's already been eight months I've been on treatment."

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