Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has spoken of his pride after being given the shirt previously worn by Stiliyan Petrov.
The iconic number 19 shirt was retired for one season while the former Bulgaria international fought his battle with leukaemia. But after recently revealing that he is just a few months away from no longer needing to take medication, the Villa legend’s shirt is now back in action once more.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Bent revealed just how special it is to play with that number on his back.
“Obviously number 19 carries a big significance because of Stiliyan,” the striker said. “It’s a real honour to wear it.
“At Villa, it’s a big honour to have that shirt. What a great player Stiliyan was, he’s a top bloke, too.
“He told me to look after the shirt, and I promised him I would.”
Bent has a big season ahead of him, as he looks to get back on the scoring trail and prove he has a future at the club.
With a contract that expires next summer, the 30-year-old will know he only has limited time to prove to Paul Lambert that he can remain an integral part of the Villans’ squad.