Blog: Petrov text message humour evidence of super spirit
12th Apr 2012
Getting the man in the number 19 shirt to sit down and produce his column for the programme has been a different matter altogether.
For the past three seasons, Villa's captain has taken great delight in winding me up over meeting him to discuss the views he wants to express on the Dressing Room View page.
He has frequently responded to text messages asking when we can get together with flippant replies. Which can be a touch frustrating when the deadline is rapidly approaching.
Invariably, though, he has delivered, even if it has taken a fair bit of cajoling to get there.
But no cajoling was needed when club staff walked a combined total of 1874 laps around Villa Park as part of the recent fundraising for Acorns Children's Hospice.
I sent him a cheeky message asking if he would be willing to chip in a couple of quid to sponsor us.
Within seconds he replied: "200 pounds from me."
He has never been so prompt in replying to texts about his Villa News & Record column.
One conversation, saved on my phone, goes like this:
Rob: Will you be around to do the column today?
As I have long since discovered, the waiting game is part of Stiliyan's make-up, part of the leftfield humour which makes him so popular.
It wasn't so funny a few weeks ago.
Even as the programme for the Chelsea match was going to print, our captain was being diagnosed with acute leukaemia.
It was too late to change the column, so there was no mention of the devastating news he had been given 24 hours earlier.
Knowing the man, it's probably how he would have wanted it.
Needless to say, I've dropped him another text message since to wish him all the best in his big fight.
No doubt, it's not the only one he's received!
rob bishop, blogs,
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