Stiliyan Petrov & Aston Villa vs Celtic: The Current Situation

Update 2/8/2012 – Aston Villa have announced that Stiliyan Petrov is in remission and winning his battle against cancer. Excellent news!

Since several MOMS supporters have asked for an update on club captain Stiliyan Petrov’s situation and also the proposed idea of an Aston Villa vs Celtic match (or two) in Stan’s honour. MOMS contacted the Villa board this week to see if there was any news.

The only snippets of information that have come out so far, suggest Stan’s responding to treatment well, but this is nothing official. The club reiterated they are following Stan and his wife Paulina’s lead in what information is available for fans. In line with this, his last public message was his message to camera for the club’s end-of-season dinner in May.

It’s a catch-22 situation, you want to hear news that Stan’s doing ok, but also it’s a delicate and private matter for the Petrov family. It has to be remembered that Stan has only just completed a stage of chemotherapy and will undergo another on in a couple of weeks. It takes time to see how somebody responds to such treatment.

Aston Villa vs Celtic…When?

Regarding the prospect of the game, an idea MOMS got out to the national press a couple of months ago…

You may recall a Daily Mail published an article in late April saying games at Villa Park and Celtic Park were a done deal:

Coincidentally, I spoke to the club on the day of the Daily Mail article and had discussed the possible games and they certainly hadn’t been arranged then. At present, that situation doesn’t seem to have changed. The Daily Mail article was certainly guilty of  jumping the gun.

It seems obvious that no match will take place before the start of the new season with the club’s party line suggesting the preseason games are locked-up, and the focus is on the new season.

As we’ve stated before, the main factor in terms of the timing of such a game is obviously Stan’s condition and the rate of his recovery. All being well, next preseason would be the likely window of opportunity for such games.

Lambert the new piece to the Villa vs Celtic jigsaw

The Lambert Factor

The appointment of Paul Lambert, an ex-team mate of Stan’s, obviously makes such matches ever more likely. Also, Lambert’s appointment removes the sore thumb factor to our potential guests of Alex McLeish being an ex-Ranger’s manager. Although, to the Celtic fan’s credit, it hasn’t really been made an issue of. On a human level, I would hope McLeish would be invited to such a game at Villa Park, regardless of his ex-Blues and ex-Rangers roots.

Lambert’s relationship with the current manager of Celtic and old teammate at the Bhoys, Neil Lennon, will certainly help. Their track-record is good, with them both helping arrange a double-header friendly his season between Norwich City and Celtic.

The first match at Carrow Road on May 22 was won 2-0 by Norwich (by all accounts, a good time was had by all), and the return game is scheduled for July 25, 2012. The price of £15 at Celtic Park, suggests a MOMS member’s suggestion of a £19 priced ticket to represent Stan’s shirt number is a realistic price.

Again, let’s hope these games happen and we can have a couple of cracking days in honour of Stan alongside the Celtic bhoys.

Meanwhile in Bulgaria…

Teammates and pals Stan and Dimitar

A couple of days ago, a prayer service for Stiliyan’s health was held in the St Nedelya Church in the village of Satovcha. In this orthodox church (built in 1864) is kept a very rare icon of St. Stilian – Protector of Children. Among the people who came to the prayer service was Margarita Berbatova, Dimitar Berbatov’s mother. Also present were several friends and former teammates of Stan.

At the same time about 50 Muslims gathered at the local mosque, where prayer for Stiliyan’s recovery was also held.

It would seem from the occurrence of such prayer services that Stan is still very much in a battle with his condition. So keep the support and prayer strong for our club captain #19.

Support Stan & UTV


(Many thanks to MOMS’ man in Bulgaria T’Nas Kovachev)