Petrov Friends and Fans Unite In Charity Game

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Stan Petrov Select XI vows to raise funds for cancer charity to boost the Pedal for Petrov Appeal.

Friends of Aston Villa skipper StiliyanPetrov are to host a huge charity match in his honour next month with every penny raised going to the Pedal for Petrov appeal on behalf of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research (LLR).

The pals bought the match in a charity auction back in September at Villa Park at a dinner organised by Aston Villa for the Pedal appeal.The event saw the club’s two masseurs Alex Butler and Andy Smith cycle more than 400 miles to raise funds for LLR.

They took to the saddle after learning that Villa skipper Petrov – affectionately known as Stan – had been diagnosed with leukaemia and needed urgent treatment.

The auction prize, which went for £1,000, entitled the successful bidder to field a side against the Aston Villa Lions and Legends Association which features players from amongst others, the 1982 European Cup winning side.

Villa fan Dean Dodds, who is now organising the match on Sunday November 18 as the Stan Petrov Select XI , said support had come from a host of sources including former Villa and England midfielder Gareth Barry, now with Manchester City, who will cheer on the team and former Villa star Lee Hendrie who has vowed to pull on his boots for the cause.

Hendrie will line up for the Petrov XI even though it will mean playing against the legends whom he usually represents on a Sunday! Even Hendrie’s former Villa boss Big Ron Atkinson has provided a few coaching tips ahead of the big game.

The match kicks off at 1:30pm at Halesowen Town’s ground, The Grove in Old Hawne Lane and admission is £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. Gates open from 12 noon and with capacity limited to 4,000, fans will be welcome on a first come first served basis.

Halesowen have donated the use of the ground for free and the day is aimed at football fans and families alike and will feature a pig roast and bar. Petrov himself has even pledged to try and attend if he feels well enough on the day.

Barry, who is still in regular contact with Petrov, said: “We are all good friends of Stan’s and what the lads are doing is great as it boosts the Pedal for Petrov and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research appeal.

“I am looking forward to watching the game and it should be an entertaining day out, not just for Villa fans but football fans in general.”

The Petrov X1 are being sponsored for the match by security company Protection Services International who are providing them with kit while Harborne-based designer menswear store Resonate are sponsoring the match balls.

Cathy Gilman, Chief Executive at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: “We are so grateful that the boys are supporting our life-saving work.

“The valuable funds they are raising will help us find better treatments and cures for patients with blood cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma”

Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is dedicated to saving the lives of blood cancer patients through the promotion and assistance of research into causes diagnosis and treatment.

It is committed to advancing the interest of patients and increasing public understanding of blood cancers.

Around 30,000 people of all ages, from children and teenagers to adults are diagnosed with blood cancers like leukaemia and lymphoma in the UK every year.

The charity receives no government funding and relies entirely on voluntary support. In the next five years it needs to raise £120 million to continue its’ life-saving work.For further information please visit beatingbloodcancers.org.uk or call 020 7405 0101.

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Dave Beeston has been writing for AVillaFan for over 2 years. He is a keen & loyal Villa fan & regularly attends home & away games. He is a season ticket holder who sits in the Lower North & would welcome safe standing to the club. Follow him on Twitter: @mini_beest

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