Plenty of emotion and tears filled Celtic Park yesterday during the charity match of Stiliyan Petrov who was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.
Stan stood in the middle of the pitch as ‘You’ll never walk alone’ started playing from the speakers and fans – who also found it hard to hold back the tears – sang their hearts out.
The former Bulgaria international was then joined by his two sons, Stiliyan Jr. and Kristiyan, alongside his wife Paulina who all got the most touching of standing ovations from everyone in the ground. It was obvious that this would be a very special day.
The former Celtic midfielder put together this match in aid of the Stiliyan Petrov Foundation and other charities and featured the Celtic XI against the Stiliyan XI.
Martin O’Neill and Kenny Dalglish managed each respective squad and players such as Fulham’s Dimitar Berbatov, Henrik Larsson, Chelsea’s John Terry and Robert Pires all answered the call to honour the former Aston Villa player.
The Petrov XI prevailed with a score of 5-3 with a hat-trick from Berbatov and a goals from Martin Petrov and Nicky Byrne. From the Celtic Legends Henrik Larsson scored a penalty in response followed by a cracker from Pierre Van Hooijdonk and Warren Brown.
At full time Petrov said: “Thank you very much, all the support and everything you have done for me throughout my career. Today you showed the world how special this place is.
“You made it special for me, my family and these players and thank you for standing by me.”
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