Thoughts of Stiliyan Petrov peaked 19 minutes into the play, when Celtic Park rose in profound appreciation and support for their former player, who was diagnosed last week with acute leukemia.
On the 19 minute mark, the Celtic manager began clapping along with the supporters. Neil Lennon turned round to ensure everyone in the technical area was showing their appreciation for the ex-Celtic player. In football, it is unusual to see a manager join in with a gesture from the fans during a game, but this was different. Petrov is part of the Celtic family.
The sad news of his illness has brought out such a heartwarming reaction around football, emotional tributes have been pouring in for the Bulgarian international from all over.
While Petrov left the club in 2006 to play for Aston Villa, the Celtic support still showed that they would continue to support the player in anyway possible.
Fans held the banner which bore the touching message to the 32 year old –
‘Once a tim, always a tim You’ll never walk alone, Stan’
Fitting tribute from the Celtic fans on Sunday.
St Johnstone players also showed their admiration for the player before the match by joining Celtic in wearing T-shirts in support of Petrov. All of the home side wore shirts bearing the name and squad number of the player.
After hearing the news that Petrov has retired from football it makes you realise how quickly your life can change.
“Football is over, this is the end. I am now beginning to fight for my life and I will fight.”
When terrible things like this happen in football, it puts life into perspective. When a man, who is at the peak of his fitness and health, is diagnosed with leukemia, it really makes you think how insignificant football is in comparison to life.
Best wishes to Stiliyan Petrov and his family.