Former Aston Villa and Celtic midfielder Stiliyan Petrov has been revealed as the latest star to join the #NonLeagueChallenge Premier League legends team to take on Corby Town at Steel Park later this month.
The much-anticipated star-studded affair will see the likes of Petrov, Emile Heskey, Chris Waddle and Eidur Gudjohnsen line up against David Bell’s team on Sunday, July 30 (2pm).
The match came about after Jason Lee’s pint-swigging celebration was voted as the best of last season in the #NonLeagueChallenge and it earned the Steelmen a £10,000 windfall and the chance to take on the legends in a clash that will see the club take 90 per cent of the gate receipts with the other 10 per cent going to Prostate Cancer UK.
Petrov, who is celebrating his 37th birthday today, marked the moment he was named in the legends squad by delivering some tickets for the match to former Steelmen chairman Bip Wetherell.
Petrov made over 200 appearances for Celtic and over 150 for Villa but had to suspend his career when he was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in 2012.
He underwent successful treatment and retired from the game in 2013 but is now looking forward to featuring on the big day at the end of the month.
“I am really looking forward to it,” Petrov said.
“When we retire and you get asked to play in games like this you always look forward to it.
“You miss the buzz, the fans, the full stadiums and I believe it will be a full stadium.
“When you play teams like this you know the Corby Town boys will be buzzing about it, they will be fit and raring to go so we will try to give them a good game as much as we can.
“I am still training, I am still keeping fit. I am doing pre-season at the moment with the under-21s at Villa so I am in quite good shape with a good level of fitness.
“I am sure most of the other boys are doing the same. They keep fit and they keep strong as well so I think most of the boys will be be ready.”
Petrov, meanwhile, hopes the match will mark a “new start” for Corby who are preparing for life at Step Four following two successive relegations.
“I was at Corby Town a year ago and I saw what nice facilities they have got,” he added.
“There is the potential to do something.
“They didn’t have the greatest season but I think that with this game and the day we will have I think it could be like a new start for them.”
Tickets for the match remain on sale and the club are hopeful of having them available to purchase at both the Corby Carnival on Saturday and the Highland Gathering on Sunday.
Tickets are priced at £10 adults, £5 for OAPs and under-16s, and £2 for under 5s. There will be an extra £2 charge for those who want to reserve a seat in the main stand.
For fans who cannot purchase their tickets in person, they can also do so by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a £2 charge per order for postage and packaging but there is no booking fee using this method.