West Ham confirm 20 year-old Dylan Tombides has lost his battle with cancer
West Ham have announced the death of striker Dylan Tombides at the age of 20, following a battle with illness after being diagnosed with testicular cancer in the summer of 2011.
The Hammers confirmed that Tombides passed away on Friday morning, with a minutes applause scheduled to pay tribute to the youngster before their Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
A statement released by the club on Friday afternoon read: “West Ham United announce the sad news that forward Dylan Tombides has passed away at the age of 20 following his brave battle with cancer.
“Dylan passed away on Friday morning with his family by his side having courageously fought the disease for three years after initially being diagnosed with testicular cancer in summer 2011.
“He remained a regular visitor to Chadwell Heath throughout his treatment and his positive attitude and professional approach to his football and training always impressed and boosted his team-mates and coaches alike.”
Tombides was described by the club as a “resilient” fighter throughout his illness, having gone through months of surgery and chemotherapy while remaining positive, and on the pitch was said to be an “outstanding talent” which led to his first-team debut in their League Cup defeat to Wigan in 2012, coming off the bench for the latter stages.
“Dylan's amazing resilience and positivity saw him through months of surgery and chemotherapy, while his outstanding talent saw him make his first-team debut in a League Cup tie with Wigan Athletic at the Boleyn Ground in September 2012.
“Away from the pitch, Dylan did a huge amount of work to raise awareness of male cancer, supporting the One for the Boys campaign at a number of high-profile events alongside the likes of Hollywood star Samuel L. Jackson, snooker star Jimmy White and fellow Australian Peter Andre.
“Dylan was respected by everyone who knew him for his intelligent views on the game and his larger than life character. He was a loving son, amazing brother and well-respected member of the West Ham squad. He will be hugely missed by everyone who had the honour of knowing him.”
West Ham players will also wear black armbands in respect of the Australian, who made five appearances for their Under-17s and four appearances this year for the Under-23s.
The club said that their thoughts are with Tombides parents Tracylee and Jim, as well as his brother Taylor and friends and family. They ask that they are allowed to grieve the sad death in peace.