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Aston Villa's Stiliyan Petrov to meet marathon runner at finish

Pete Gough started his 310-mile run on 22 July Credit: Facebook/Celtic to Villa Marathon

A long-distance runner who is undertaking a 310-mile marathon for charity is to be met by one of his heroes, former-Aston Villa player Stiliyan Petrov, at the end of it.

Pete Gough, 40, started the run from Celtic Park in Glasgow on 22 July and is hoping to reach Villa Park tomorrow (Saturday).

"Stan" Petrov was forced to retire from the game in May this year Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

The run, replicating Petrov's transfer from Celtic to Aston Villa, will raise money for Cure Leukaemia. Petrov, 34, was forced to retire in May this year after being diagnosed with the disease.

Petrov revealed on Twitter earlier this week that he will meet Pete at the finish line tomorrow.

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Petrov backs Villa following Benteke's stay with club

The former Aston Villa captain, Stiliyan Petrov Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Former Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has backed his former club to enjoy a successful season now that striker Christian Benteke has pledged to stay at Villa Park.

The 22-year-old originally requested a transfer but has since withdrew this request and agreed a new deal to see him stay until 2017.

Benteke netted 19 goals last season as Villa escaped relegation.

Stiliyan Petrov, said: "It's a big boost. The way he performed last season, the way he played, if Villa had lost him, they would probably be in bigger trouble."

"Keeping him is just great. All the fans, the players, the manager, everybody is happy that Christian is staying at the club."

"He has shown unbelievable potential. He is still a young boy and he still has a lot to learn."

"But, if he plays the way he played last season, Villa will finish very, very high this season."

Aston Villa's Christian Benteke (left) Credit: John Walton/EMPICS Sport/PA

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Stiliyan Petrov to take up coaching role at Aston Villa

Stiliyan Petrov Credit: PA

Stiliyan Petrov will take up a new role as assistant development coach, the Club has confirmed.

Aston Villa’s 33-year-old former captain announced his retirement on May 9, 2013 having successfully battled acute leukaemia.

“I’m very excited by this new challenge and I wish to thank the Club and the manager, Paul Lambert, for giving me the opportunity to continue my association with Villa, which I have always regarded as a privilege,” Petrov said.

3,000 Stilliyan Petrov's attending Villa v Wigan match

Stilliyan Petrov masks ready to be worn by Villa fans Credit: @HeartOfTheHolte

A company near Leamington Spa has donated 3,000 Stilliyan Petrov masks to Aston Villa fans heading to Wigan this Sunday, in honour of their retiring Captain following his battle with acute leukaemia.

Mask-arade from Southam, have sent the masks free of charge. Masks are also being sold online, with profits being donated to Cure Leukaemia.

Villa fans have dubbed this weekend's fixture 'Stiliyan Petrov Day'.

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Villa boss: Atmosphere will be electric

Villa boss Paul Lambert says Villa Park will be "rocking" today as Villa face Chelsea in their last home game of the season.

Former Captain Stiliyan Petrov will do a lap of the pitch with his team mates after the game as he retires from football, following his leukaemia battle.

The manager says the event will be "emotional" for Stiliyan as he bows out of the game but hinted there would be a job for him elsewhere at Villa Park.

Supporters are also expected to stand and clap on the 19th minute to coincide with the skipper's squad number.

Petrov leads Villa one last time

Stiliyan Petrov is retiring from football after being treated for leukaemia Credit: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Stiliyan Petrov will lead out Aston Villa on to the Villa Park pitch one last time as they face Chelsea.

The 33-year-old Club captain will be joined by his team-mates for the traditional lap of appreciation at the end of the final home game of the season.

He announced his retirement from football this week after a battle with leukaemia.

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