Messages an inspiration - Petrov
Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov says messages of support from people who have overcome leukaemia have provided inspiration to him.
The Bulgaria international has been undergoing chemotherapy since being diagnosed as suffering from acute leukaemia three months ago. But it did not stop Petrov from celebrating his 33rd birthday by attending Villa's first day of pre-season under new manager Paul Lambert at Bodymoor Heath on Thursday. Petrov, who played alongside Lambert at Celtic, said: "It has been hard. I can't say it has been easy. It has been hard but I didn't expect anything else. Life is hard and we live in it. "I have just gone through it. I have had good days, I have had bad days, ups and downs. That is the way it goes. But I have a lot of hope and I haven't stopped believing since the start and I will never stop believing. My family believe as well. "It is a great help when you read messages and you've got letters from people who have beaten this already and they have already lived 20 or 30 years. "You just say to yourself, 'I am going to be there as well'. I am just not going to stop fighting. I have always been a fighter and I will just keep fighting."