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.