You may have seen our post a couple of weeks ago about the great Stiliyan Petrov returning to play football for the first time since he was diagnosed with leukemia. Well the Celtic legend has given an interview to the Daily Mail, where he has compared his matches with Warwickshire's Wychall Wanderers to a 'dream coming true.'
Petrov, now aged 35, plays for the Sunday League over-35s team after getting the all clear from doctors after 18 months of treatment. He told the Mail '‘I’m like a little boy,' after speaking about the devastation he felt when he was forced to retire at Aston Villa.
However, now he has reason to be happy again:
Battling for your life is different, you either make it or you don’t. It’s been nearly three years going through hard treatment and some really dark places with my family. So playing again, even at this level, I still enjoy it, I still smile. I can do what I love to do.
Known to his teammates as Stan, one of them tells a great story about how the Bulgarian record caps holder hasn't let his standards slip.
Last Saturday evening I got a phone call from Stan,
He doesn’t say hello, just: 'Where are you?' — Fergie style.
'In the chippy,' I say.
'Chips the night before a match?' he shouts. 'No, no, no. Come to my house tomorrow morning for egg on rye bread.'
Petrov's next challenge is cutting his 15st weight down, which he should hopefully be able to begin doing once he finishes his last round of chemotherapy in February. At the moment though he's just delighted to be back on a pitch, 'I’m here to enjoy and make sure the boys enjoy.'
You can read the rest of his interview with the Daily Mail here.