Cricketer Sir Ian Botham has said that Aston Villa captain Stilian Petrov can successfully recover from the leukaemia he has been recently diagnosed with due to the fact that he is an extremely strong person, and due to the fact that he has fitness of his side.

Stilian Petrov was recently diagnosed with leukaemia and it has brought together the entire football world in support of the Bulgarian. Even those from other walks of the professional game have also expressed their sadness at the Bulgarian being diagnosed with leukaemia. Sir Ian Botham has been one of them. The former England cricketer has said that even though it is a sad news, he remains hopeful that Petrov can successfully fight the cancer.

Petrov was identified with leukaemia only three weeks ago and he has begun intensive treatment. Sir Ian Botham has been one of the regular supporters for people diagnosed with leukaemia, and he has been doing the same since 1985. He has said that he has seen many people successfully fight this cancer, and says that Petrov is probably one of the best equipped to deal with this problem. This is because Petrov has an amazing attitude and is one of the fittest players in the game today.

“It comes home a little bit more being in Birmingham with what happened to Stan the other day” said Botham. “Our thoughts go out to him and his family. But Stan is fit and strong, it was diagnosed pretty early, so I would expect to see him in a Villa shirt again. Mental toughness and shows of support can help people – and the people of Birmingham turned out today to show what they think of it all,” Sir Ian Botham said, as Petrov prepares to leave Birmingham in order to get the treatment.

Villa will mis Stilian in the centre of the pitch, with the latest football betting odds showing that Villa aren’t the favourites to win matches any more, even at home.