Thursday 12 December 2019

West Ham's Dylan Tombides dead at 20 after losing battle with testicular cancer

Matt Law

West Ham United will hold a minute’s applause in memory of Dylan Tombides ahead of the club’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace at Upton Park.

Tombides died on Friday morning, aged 20, after being diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011.

He joined West Ham as a 15-year-old, playing as a striker for the youth team, and made his senior debut in the League Cup against Wigan in September 2012.

Other than the minute’s applause, West Ham players will wear black armbands in memory of Tombides against Palace on Saturday.

Tombides was 17 when he was first diagnosed after playing for Australia in the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico.

A random drugs test, taken after his team were beaten 4-0 by Uzbekistan, uncovered a tumour in one of his testicles.

Months of surgery and chemotherapy followed and Tombides worked hard to raise awareness of male cancer, supporting the One for the Boys campaign at a number of high-profile events with Hollywood star Samuel L Jackson, snooker player Jimmy White and Peter Andre.

 A West Ham statement read: “The thoughts of everyone associated with the club are with his parents Tracylee and Jim, brother Taylor, his family and friends at this sad time. The club request that their privacy is now respected and they are allowed to grieve their much loved son and brother in peace.”

Tombides’s brother Taylor, a West Ham youth player, tweeted: “R.I.P. Dylan my beloved brother you will be missed, but never forgotten you was a massive inspiration to everyone.”

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