The English Premiership club of Aston Villa has thanked its fans for the overwhelming show of support for captain Stiliyan Petrov, the Bulgarian midfielder, who has been diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia.

The claret and blue family – and supporters of football clubs from all over Europe – were quick to┬árally around┬áthe popular Villa skipper, the club website said, adding that there have been floods of goodwill messages on forums and social networking websites.

The fans planned various signs of support for Stiliyan Petrov during Villa’s Saturday game against Chelsea.