Stiliyan Petrov has revealed that he’s harbouring serious ambitions of rejoining Aston Villa as a player next season after successfully overcoming leukaemia.
Petrov was reluctantly forced to announce his early retirement in May 2013 after being diagnosed the previous March, but since getting the all-clear the Bulgarian scrapper has been busy building his fitness back up, firstly with his local over-35s Sunday League team and subsequently by training with the Villa Under-21 side.
Now, the 36-year-old feels he is poised and ready to make a sensational return to the senior fold.
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Petrov said:
I have decided to start trying to play football again at a higher level again. I am very excited. People will be asking a lot of questions, and will have a lot of doubts.
I always believe that if you work hard, you will get fitter. My fitness is getting close to when I retired, so let’s see where we go.
Aston Villa remains my priority.
Not that he isn’t already a bona fide cult hero, but can you even imagine the size of the ovation Stan would get if he made it back out onto the pitch at Villa Park.
What an absolute trooper. Here’s wishing him all the best.