Stiliyan Petrov returns to Aston Villa to coach first team

Stiliyan Petrov returns to Aston Villa as coach
Stiliyan Petrov made 218 appearances for Aston Villa

Former Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov will return to the club to work with the first team, head coach Tim Sherwood has revealed.

The 35-year-old Bulgarian played for Villa from 2006 to 2012, when he was diagnosed with acute leukaemia.

Petrov is in remission but he was forced to retire in May 2013.

Stiliyan Petrov's Sunday League comeback

"I would never bring him in to be a mascot. He's got a very technical and gifted mind, I want him in here as quick as possible," said Sherwood.

"Stan will always have a place at this football club while I'm manager."

Petrov made 218 appearances in all competitions for Villa, who he joined in 2006 after seven years at Celtic, and earned 92 Bulgaria caps.

Earlier this season, he began playing for Wychall Wanderers over-35s in a West Midlands Sunday league.

Villa are 17th in the Premier League but managed their first win in 13 league games when defeating West Brom 2-1 on Tuesday.

The sides meet again at Villa Park on Saturday in an FA Cup quarter-final, which is live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website (17:30 GMT).