Jack Grealish pays touching tribute to Stiliyan Petrov after his return to football following his leukemia battle
Published 09/07/2016 | 21:14
Four years is a long time to wait for a game of football but considering how things could have turned out for Stiliyan Petrov, it is a miracle that he was able to return to the pitch at all.
The Bulgarian midfielder last togged out for Aston Villa in 2012, when he had to stop playing after being diagnosed with leukemia. The former Celtic player battled back to full health and this summer decided to return to the sport.
In an uplifting turn of events, he rejoined his old club Aston Villa for pre-season training this month, and made his long-awaited return to the pitch this evening.
Petrov played the second half of Villa's 8-0 win over sixth tier Austrian side Gak 1902 (given how they finished last season in the Premier League, that is probably their level).
Afterwards, his Villa team-mate Jack Grealish shared a photo of himself and Petrov accompanied by a nice message celebrating his return.
Hopefully Petrov is able to rediscover his old form and contribute to Villa's promotion push this season.