By Paul Brown
Darren Bent says he's praying to God every day for the swift recovery of skipper Stan Petrov.
Petrov is battling leukaemia, which was diagnosed at the weekend.
Bent, who sits next to Petrov in the dressing room, spoke of his immense admiration for the skipper in an emotional interview on AVTV.
Bent insists his thoughts are firmly with Petrov - as well as those of the entire football family.
He told AVTV: "My thoughts are with him 100%. Stan made me feel so welcome when I first arrived at the football club and I'll never forget that warmth of feeling.
"I sit next to him in the dressing room and he's always a bubbly character.
"The news puts everything into perspective. Here I am worrying about my ankle and hoping I'm going to back in a short time frame and here's Stan fighting for his life.
"I pray every single day that Stan will come back.
"It was sad news but the Chelsea game was a heart-warming occasion. Even on my own personal Twitter account I must have had 100,000 contributions from people asking me to give Stan their best wishes.
"It was great to see and even more so because it wasn't just Villa supporters. It was fans all around the world.
"Stan's been a great player for Villa and was a legend at Celtic but I was still getting messages from Rangers fans passing on their regards. It was tremendous to see.
"We all pray to God that he pulls through and makes a great recovery.
"Stan's a fighter - I know that for certain! He will never give up. I have only been here a short while but I have already recognised Stan's qualities.
"He puts extra in on the training ground and puts his body on the line week after week after week.
"This is probably the biggest fight of his life. I am sure he will pull through."
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