Stiliyan Petrov: Aston Villa captain's leukaemia in remission

Aston Villa have announced that captain Stiliyan Petrov is in remission and winning his battle against leukaemia.

"It is with great delight that we can confirm on behalf of our long-standing captain, Stiliyan Petrov, that Stan's acute leukaemia is in remission," said an official Villa statement.

"Stan's fight is not over. There will be further battles to overcome in the days, weeks and months ahead.

"But he would like to share with you this tremendous news now."

What is leukaemia?

Leukaemia is cancer of the white blood cells. Symptoms include pale skin, tiredness, breathlessness and susceptibility to infection. Acute leukaemia means the condition progresses aggressively and needs immediate treatment.

On average 2,500 adults are diagnosed with acute leukaemia in the UK each year, according to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research

Petrov, who was first diagnosed with acute leukaemia in March, has undergone four months of chemotherapy, during which he was kept in his role of club captain by new Villa manager Paul Lambert.

But his latest medical tests have brought the 33-year-old Bulgarian his happiest news yet.

"Stan would like to take this opportunity to express his deep gratitude to the medical staff who have looked after him so well since his condition was diagnosed just over four months ago," continued the club statement.

"He also wishes to place on record again his profound sense of appreciation for the incredible outpouring of love and support he has received from Villa fans, his team-mates and colleagues at the club, as well as football fans and many more people around the world.

"He and his family have been moved by the depth of feeling stirred in so many people and he has taken great strength from it, too.

"On Stan's behalf, the club would like to thank everybody for continuing to respect Stan's privacy and his family's throughout his ongoing battle against acute leukaemia and for those who have raised awareness of the condition. Stan remains very committed to this crusade going forward."