Stiliyan Petrov has shown his support for Carl Ikeme by visiting the Wolves goalkeeper in hospital, after the 31-year-old was diagnosed with acute leukaemia.
Former Aston Villa, Celtic and Bulgaria star Petrov successfully battled leukaemia himself and made a trip to see the Nigeria international over the weekend to share his own experience of the disease, which he was diagnosed with in 2012.
Petrov told the Birmingham Mail: “I went to see Carl the other day, so we had a little chat. Obviously there were a lot of questions in his mind, and he was in very good spirits.
“He’s started his treatment now. It’s a long road to follow.
“He had so many questions so I’ve been through it with him. You need to answer in a way that’s going to give him everything that will happen, what to expect, how to deal with it, what are the side-effects, how he’s going to approach everything.”
The former Bulgaria international is confident Ikeme, who has made more than 200 appearances for Wolves since joining in 2003, will receive support from around the globe.
“There’s a lot of things, but he’s in good spirits and that’s the main thing. I said to him, ‘You’ll have great support. Everybody around the world will support you and it’s a great help,'” Petrov added.
“It’s a long road, it’s hard, it’s tough, you need to really battle through it.
“But look at me now. I’m alive, I’m kicking. It’s life afterwards and it’s worth it when you battle so hard to appreciate life even more afterwards.”