Botham backs Villa skipper
Sir Ian Botham is backing Aston Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov to win his battle against acute leukaemia and play again for the club.
Cricket legend Botham is half-way through one of his regular walks around the country to raise money and awareness of leukaemia and his thoughts were with Petrov as he set off from Birmingham on Tuesday.
Bulgarian international Petrov, who is nicknamed 'Stan', was diagnosed with the illness three weeks ago and the midfielder is undergoing regular treatment. Botham said: "It comes home a little bit more being in Birmingham with what happened to Stan (Petrov) the other day.
"Our thoughts go out to him and his family. But Stan is fit and strong, it was diagnosed pretty early so I would expect to see him in a Villa shirt again.
"Mental toughness and shows of support can help people - and the people of Birmingham turned out to show what they think of it all.
"This illness has picked on one of the fittest blokes in the midlands in Stan but that is on his side as well."