Paul Lambert admits 'Stan Petrov Day' made him feel emotional.
Lambert says he had a "lump in the throat" as he led Petrov out at the end of the game.
Villa drew 2-2 with Wigan, with Petrov sitting alongside staff and subs on the bench.
After the final whistle had blown - and before the FA Cup was paraded - Petrov took to the pitch to applaud away and home fans after calling time on his playing career.
Lambert accompanied him on to the turf and says it was a special moment.
Lambert was impressed with the reception from everyone in the DW Stadium.
He told AVTV: "It was a hard one that was. It was a tearjerker.
"I had a lump in my throat there. I have known him for a long, long time and seen him growing up from a young player at Celtic and develop into the player he was.
"It was great, not just from the Villa fans but from the Wigan supporters too.
"It really was a terrific reception from both sets of fans.
"But, as I said, that was a hard one."
Lambert asked Petrov to travel with the team, mingle with the players in the dressing room and sit on the bench.
He added: "I wanted Stiliyan around because obviously he has to say goodbye to the fans.
"I asked him to come along during the week and thankfully he took up the invitation.
"I wanted him to come into the dressing room before the game not for sentimental reasons but to give him the feeling of what it's like to be in there again."
Snap up your season tickets for 2013-14.