McLeish - Petrov proud of Villa

Villa boss says Petrov sent him text message after game

Alex McLeish: Feels Stiliyan Petrov will receive boost from the weekend

Alex McLeish has revealed that Stiliyan Petrov was very proud of Aston Villa's display against Chelsea after being diagnosed with acute leukaemia.

The 32-year-old Bulgarian, who is due to begin treatment in a London hospital on Monday, made the trip to Villa Park to watch his side in action against the Blues.

Villa fought back from 2-0 down to 2-2 before Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres clinched a win that put Chelsea in a good position behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

The club skipper watched from the stands and was visibly emotional as he waved to the fans giving him a standing ovation in the 19th minute - chosen to match Petrov's shirt number.

McLeish revealed that the Bulgarian sent him a text message after the game to give his thoughts on the side's performance.

"He (Petrov) thought the lads had a really brave game and were a little bit unlucky," McLeish told Sky Sports News.

"There were a lot of young players playing on Saturday and they're going to make mistakes and learn how to play in the Premier League.


"Stiliyan obviously made it a very emotional occasion and the fans were right behind the team, they gave them extra power and they gave Stiliyan fantastic support.

"I have to say, which I didn't realise, that the Chelsea players wore T-shirts (which said 'our thoughts are with you'), which was a fantastic gesture and I have to thank them for that.

"I watched (Petrov's former club) Celtic play today (Sunday) and they had a smashing tribute in the 19th minute to Stiliyan - he's a massively popular guy."

McLeish feels Petrov will receive a boost from the weekend as he begins treatment on Monday, adding: "Hopefully the support will boost him and give him positivity - I know that can help people in their recovery."

Meanwhile, Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch at Tottenham last month, and his fiance Shauna Magunda voiced a message of support for the Villa captain.

They said: "We would like to pass on our love and support to Stiliyan Petrov and his family. They all have our very best wishes."

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