Villa captain retires

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has announced his retirement from football after a battle with leukaemia. 3,000 fans will today wear masks of Petrov to mark his retirement.

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Petrov will lead out team-mates during Chelsea game

Aston Villa Club captain Stiliyan Petrov will lead out his team-mates and their families for the traditional lap of appreciation at the end of the club's final home game of the season against Chelsea on Saturday.

Petrov announced today that he is retiring from football. He said:

"I wish to thank the fans of Aston Villa and the Villa Chairman, Randy Lerner, Chief Executive Paul Faulkner and manager Paul Lambert. Also...those all over the world who have helped me through the past year with their incredible displays of support and with their personal, moving messages.

I am moving on and I am excited by this. There is a deep joy in my heart because of what you have shared with me, not only in this past year but over the years I have been in football. I felt privileged. I still do. I always will."

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