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INTERVIEW WITH RETIRED BULGARIAN FOOTBALL STAR STILYAN PETROV

10 септември 2018 15:28, Людмила Калъпчиева
Излъчване: Туида Нюз преди 2 седмици, брой четения: 30
STILYAN PETROV

“The event was great,” said the 39-year-old Bulgarian. “We didn’t make the final and we didn’t even lose a game!”

 

Petrov was the VIP guest at the football tournament held to raise money for his charity, the Stiliyan Petrov Foundation.

 

Petrov’s team, with his son in goal, won two games and drew one, all while keeping two clean-sheets - but they failed to make the final on goal difference.

 

However that was only a consolation. The real goal of the tournament was to raise funds for his charity, which will pay for vital treatment for cancer patients. On the day they amassed £9,000.

 

Petrov was delighted with how the tournament panned out, organised by his charity’s sponsor Finance 4 Business.

 

“It was great, you know doing this event was very well organised,” said Petrov. “We know how much work goes on to organise an event like that, to gather people and make sure everything is alright.

 

“The weather was not great today but everybody turned up, everybody smiled and everybody put in a great performance which was the main thing.”

 

This is the latest fundraising event for Petrov. He has been taking part in them for his charity since its founding in 2013. That was the year he retired following his own battle with cancer.

 

The charity aims to help improve cancer treatment and prevent the illness from happening.

 

Petrov only knows too well the pain and struggles of fighting the disease. He was diagnosed with leukaemia in March 2012, after developing a fever following Villa’s 3-0 defeat to Arsenal. After months of treatment he announced his remission in August of that year.

 

Having gone through the dreadful experience himself, the former Villa and Celtic man has been on hand to offer his support to fellow footballer Carl Ikeme.

 

 

Ikeme was diagnosed with leukaemia last year and recently announced he was in remission. On medical advice, the 32-year-old goalkeeper announced his retirement from football earlier this month, leaving his club Wolves where he’d spent 18 years.

 

Petrov said: “I speak with Carl all the time. I know how everything goes, I know how hard it is and he has done very well.

 

“You know it is great news now, he has finished all the intensive chemotherapy, he is in remission, he is going into maintenance so it is great news.

 

 

“He has just announced his retirement and it probably is the right thing to do. I know he will miss the football. We had a conversation about it, but I think he is prepared about it, he is ready for it, as much as we all say that, I told him in the near future that he will miss football.

 

“But I hope Wolves will offer him something in the club and keep him there because he is an inspirational person.

 

“He has got a new born kid, he is a dad, and he will spend more time with the family now.”

 

Petrov says after going through remission, the healing process is still a long one. And for footballers to get cancer comes as a shock, as they feel invincible being highly fit individuals.

 

“It shows you that nobody is insured against it, even being a professionally footballer, we have a diet, we are fit, we are strong, we think sometimes we are immortal, we can’t get things (like cancer) - but look how many cancer cases are around sport, not just football,” said Petrov.

 

“(The fight) is mental. The physical, you know, talking about being athletes you know, being diagnosed with cancer, we have got more strength and stamina. But mainly it comes to your mental preparation.

 

“How you are going to fight it? Because it is a long process. As much as people say ‘oh great news he just finished one year of intensive chemo’, you have got another two years of treatment as well, so it is an ongoing process.

 

“And you know sometimes people talk about ‘can it come back, will it come back?’ We don’t know.

 

“And you are always thinking ‘it could come back’, but at the end of the day, going through different stages and managing to pull through, is the best thing to happen.

 

“I will always say, what we have done, we have fought these battles with the support of millions, because some people do it on their own, and they struggle.”

 

But Petrov says it is important to turn negativity into positivity.

 

He said: “This is the most important thing because when we get diagnosed, it is a negativity. And by turning that into positivity, it is surviving. And you need to fight. And if you don’t fight, if you don’t believe you are going to get through it, it is very difficult.”

 

Petrov’s charity has helped to pay for four nurses at the Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham to administer chemotherapy.

 

Sitting next to him in the bar, Russell Martin, the managing director of Finance 4 Business, said: “The NHS didn’t even have that facility before Good Hope.

 

“What chances have these people got? So to do this as a foundation is unbelievable. And you want to support that as a result.”

 

A total of eight teams took part in the charity tournament at Khalsa. It was made up of two groups with eight-a-side teams who played 20 minute games.

 

Russell added: “I would just like to thank Stan Petrov that we didn’t finish bottom of the group today. He is a top bloke.”

 

Petrov made 206 appearances for Aston Villa between 2006 and 2013 and got the captain armband in 2009. In that year he led Villa to a sixth place in the Premier league, an FA Cup semi-final and the final of the League Cup

 

He also captained his country Bulgaria whom he made 105 appearances for.

 

Following his retirement, Petrov was given coaching roles at Villa where he was assistant of the Youth Development squad and was part of Tim Sherwood’s backroom team.

 

“And you are always thinking ‘it could come back’, but at the end of the day, going through different stages and managing to pull through, is the best thing to happen.

 

“I will always say, what we have done, we have fought these battles with the support of millions, because some people do it on their own, and they struggle.”

 

But Petrov says it is important to turn negativity into positivity.

 

He said: “This is the most important thing because when we get diagnosed, it is a negativity. And by turning that into positivity, it is surviving. And you need to fight. And if you don’t fight, if you don’t believe you are going to get through it, it is very difficult.”

 

Petrov’s charity has helped to pay for four nurses at the Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham to administer chemotherapy.

 

Sitting next to him in the bar, Russell Martin, the managing director of Finance 4 Business, said: “The NHS didn’t even have that facility before Good Hope.

 

“What chances have these people got? So to do this as a foundation is unbelievable. And you want to support that as a result.”

 

A total of eight teams took part in the charity tournament at Khalsa. It was made up of two groups with eight-a-side teams who played 20 minute games.

 

Russell added: “I would just like to thank Stan Petrov that we didn’t finish bottom of the group today. He is a top bloke.”

 

Petrov made 206 appearances for Aston Villa between 2006 and 2013 and got the captain armband in 2009. In that year he led Villa to a sixth place in the Premier league, an FA Cup semi-final and the final of the League Cup

 

He also captained his country Bulgaria whom he made 105 appearances for.

 

Following his retirement, Petrov was given coaching roles at Villa where he was assistant of the Youth Development squad and was part of Tim Sherwood’s backroom team.

 

And he wants to get back into coaching in the future. Petrov has recently got his coaching badges and is currently studying a master’s degree at university.

 

Asked if he is getting back into football, he said: “I will be soon. I’m looking to get back into football obviously. I really enjoyed it. After my treatment and being away from football, making the decision to retire, I have missed football but also I need to pay attention to my family after everything I went through.

 

“Then you know I am looking to get back to football now and in the near future I’ll be back.

 

“I have just finished my coaching license badges. I’m doing a master’s degree in administration and business as well so I have been improving, I have been studying, I have been trying to get back into football. But I would like to get back to football when I’m ready.

 

“I’m nearly there.

 

“My master’s degree is finishing next year so I will be fully qualified.

 

“I have been working hard. It has been taking me out of my comfort zone as well. I have been a footballer and going to do a master’s degree is really difficult, with computer work, reading, studying. You forget what school was all about but you know I am excited as it is really good.”

 

Source: Express & Star, By Jamie Brassington

https://www.expressandstar.com/

https://www.expressandstar.com/news/authors/jamie-brassington/

Source:
Sofia News Agency
http://novinite.com/

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