News National Australia mourns loss of ‘a promising talent’

Australia mourns loss of ‘a promising talent’

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The football community is mourning the loss of promising Australian youth international Dylan Tombides after he died aged 20 following a three-year battle with cancer.

Tombides’ English club West Ham United announced the Perth-born striker passed away with his family by his side on Friday having being diagnosed with testicular cancer following a routine drug test in 2011.

Tombides, who was considered one of Australia’s brightest young talents and a future Socceroo, made his senior debut for the Premier League club last year while being treated for the disease.

He represented his country only three months ago at the Under 22 Asian Championship having also played for Australia at U-17 level.

West Ham will hold a minute’s applause in his memory before Saturday’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace at Upton Park.

Back in his homeland, Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United players will wear black armbands and hold a minute’s silence at Saturday’s A-League elimination final in Gosford.

Tributes were flowing around the world for Tombides on Friday with Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop saying had Australian football had lost “a fine young man” and one of its most promising players.

“On behalf of the Australian football community, we offer our deepest condolences to Dylan’s family, teammates and friends during this extremely sad time,” Gallop said in a statement.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter also offered his condolences on twitter, as did many fans, officials and players.

Socceroos star Tim Cahill tweeted: “I’m always grateful for life and I will pray for you. Rest in Peace my brother Dylan Tombides.”

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce described Tombides as “one of the bravest characters I have ever met”.

“Nobody fought his dreadful disease as hard as this lad,” Allardyce said.