Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert admits club captain Stiliyan Petrov is still inspiring his battling side as the Bulgarian midfielder continues his battle with leukaemia.
Petrov is now in remission having undergone chemotherapy following his diagnosis in March last year. Having spent much of the last 13 months fighting his own battle away from the club, Petrov is now able to increase his presence around Villa Park and the club's Bodymoor Heath training base.
He will cheer on his team-mates from the stands when Villa face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday and Lambert, who played with Petrov at Celtic, realises the effect his inspirational captain is having. "First and foremost it's great that he's in remission and as he said, he's going to try to live a normal life," said the Scot.
"I don't think anyone could envisage what he's been through, unless they have themselves. It puts everything in perspective.
"The 19th minute of applause (Petrov's squad number is 19) at the games is fantastic, from home and away fans.
"I've known him since he was 19 when I first played with him and never in a million years did I think anything like that would happen to him, he's such a fit lad.
"Thankfully, he's doing great. He did a little bit of work with the fitness guys the other day. It's great that he's on that road.
"When he comes into the building I'm pretty sure everyone will have a thought in their head, thinking 'my God, he's done that' about what he's been through. You wouldn't be human otherwise.
"It puts things into perspective and the lads love to see him, which is nice."