Thousands of football fans and
officials will gather at the Vasil Levski national stadium in
central Sofia on Thursday to express their support for Bulgaria
captain Stiliyan Petrov, who was diagnosed with acute leukaemia
The time and date of the event - 19:00 on April 19 - were
chosen to commemorate Petrov's shirt number at his English
Premier League club Aston Villa, with the fans being asked to
wear shirts with number 19 on their backs.
Current and former players, coaches and top officials are
expected to attend the 19-minute event which will be broadcast
live on several TV channels.
"I know everyone thinks the same, but I'll write it here
anyway...You'll Never Walk Alone," Manchester United striker and
Bulgaria's all-time leading scorer Dimitar Berbatov wrote on his
Facebook page on Thursday.
The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) is dedicating this week's
round of the domestic championship, played between Tuesday and
Thursday, to Petrov with players wearing specially signed shirts
in support of him.
Several league matches have been stopped in the 19th minute,
with the crowd applauding for a minute.
Petrov, 32, who is Bulgaria's most capped player with 105
international appearances, has started treatment at a London
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