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.
Messages of support from Petrov's current and former teammates have poured in after the Aston Villa captain was diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia.
Aston Villa's captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia and we explain the condition in more detail.
- Leukaemia is a disease where the cause of which is unknown and the bone marrow produces large numbers of abnormal cells.
- Acute leukaemia can progress rapidly if not treated and develops in the immature bone marrow cells.
- Symptoms can include a pale complexion, fatigue, joint pain, nosebleeds and repeated infections such as sore throats.
- This type of leukaemia is rare and more common in children and young people, however it requires urgent medical treatment, usually with chemotherapy.
The Aston Villa board has announced the club's long-standing captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia.
A statement on the club's website reads: "Stiliyan developed a fever following the Arsenal game last Saturday and subsequently underwent tests conducted by Dr Ian McGuinness. Haematology experts confirmed the diagnosis today."
It added: "Stiliyan is cherished by many and he will get from Villa every ounce of love and support that we have to help bring this to a positive conclusion."