Aston Villa Captain Petrov Retires After Leukemia Treatments

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov retired from soccer today as he recovers from acute leukemia diagnosed in March 2012, the English Premier League team said.

Petrov appeared in almost 200 games since joining Villa from Celtic during the 2006-07 season. The Bulgarian was found to have the disease after getting treated for a fever after match last year against Arsenal, and hasn’t played since.

The 33-year-old midfielder said he is setting up a foundation to help the 7,600 people in the U.K. who are diagnosed each year with leukaemia, with about 2,300 people having acute leukaemia.

“My leukemia is now in remission and I have finished my high intensity treatment,” he said in a statement from the club. “From now on I’ll be on the softer treatment, which is two years on tablets. I feel lucky. Not everyone is as lucky as I have been.”

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