Young Socceroo Dylan Tombides passes away

The Australian football community is in mourning today with news Young Socceroo Dylan Tombides has lost his battle with cancer.

The Australian football community is in mourning today with news Young Socceroo Dylan Tombides has lost his battle with cancer. The 20-year-old passed away on Friday morning in England having lost his three-year battle with testicular cancer.

Tombides' club, West Ham United will honour the young Aussie footballer with a minute's applause before Saturday's English Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace, who are captained by Socceroo Mile Jedinak. The Hammers' players will wear black armbands to show their respects for their teammate.

The Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United will also wear black armbands and hold a minute-s silence at Saturday-s Hyundai A-League 2014 Elimination Final at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford as a mark of respect.

Tombides joined West Ham as a youth player in 2010 and made his senior debut for the London club in the League Cup in 2012. He represented Australia at U-17 and U-23 level and was a member of the Young Socceroos squad which competed at this year's AFC U-22 Championships in Oman.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) have paid their respects to the talented young star who had been touted as a future Socceroo.

“On behalf of the Australian football community, we offer our deepest condolences to Dylan-s family, teammates and friends during this extremely sad time,” said FFA boss David Gallop.

“The Tombides family has lost a fine young man and Australian football has lost one of its most promising football players. He will be remembered for the courage he showed in his personal battle as much as the prodigious talent he displayed on the football field.”

Dylan was born on 8 March 1994 in Perth, Western Australia, and played his youth football in Perth and Hong Kong, before joining West Ham United as a 15-year-old.

After impressive performances for the Hammers at youth and reserve-team levels, Tombides was named on the bench for the final Barclays Premier League fixture of the 2010/11 season against Sunderland.

In June 2011 Dylan was named in the Joeys Squad (Australian U-17 Men-s National Team) for the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. Tombides played in all four or Australia-s matches at the tournament where he scored the winning goal against the Côte d'Ivoire in their opening match of the tournament. It was at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup that Tombides was eventually diagnosed with Testicular Cancer following a routine, in competition, drug test returned an abnormal result. Tombides immediately returned to London to receive treatment.

After months of recovery, Tombides returned to the pitch and began light training and eventually made his West Ham United debut as a late substitute in the 4-1 home Capital One Cup third-round defeat by Wigan Athletic on 25 September 2012. In January this year, Aurelio Vidmar named Tombides in the Olyroos squad (Australian U-23 Men-s National Team) that competed at the inaugural AFC U-22 Championship in Oman. Dylan started in the Olyroos first match against Kuwait (1-0), came off the bench against IR Iran (1-0), played a full 90 minutes against Japan (0-4) and was a late substitute in the Olyroos Quarter-Final loss to Saudi Arabia (1-2).

Dylan's club West Ham United paid tribute to Tombides, releasing the following statement on Friday.

“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.”