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Petrov retires from football after leukaemia battle

Aston Villa's Stiliyan Petrov responds to applause from the stands at Villa Park. Credit: PA

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov, who has been suffering from acute leukaemia, has announced his retirement from football on the club's website.

Writing on the club's website, the Bulgarian said he would be starting a foundation to help people diagnosed with the disease.

"That I am ready to embrace new challenges will make this process much easier," he said.

"Since being diagnosed with acute leukaemia in March 2012, I have come to understand and appreciate the way in which this disease impacts the lives of so many people."

"My leukaemia is now in remission and I have finished my high intensity treatment," he added.

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Bradford are only second fourth-tier side to reach final

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Fact file: Bradford City

The topsy-turvy history of Bradford City has been a mixture of success, financial crises and even tragedy. But tonight the League Two side could secure their place in the Capital One cup final if they prevail at Aston Villa.

  • The club was formed in 1903
  • Nicknamed ‘The Bantams’
  • Play their home games at Valley Parade, which has a capacity of 25,136
  • 56 supporters died when a fire ripped through the main stand on 11 May 1985 in one of British football's worst disasters
  • Promoted to the Premier League in May 1999
  • Relegated in 2001 and then slipped into League Two, where they have been since 2004
  • Currently managed by Phil Parkinson, the 44th manager in the club's history
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