Pitchside

Moving tributes for tragic West Ham youngster Dylan Tombides

Pitchside

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Fans, players and officials paid tribute to West Ham youngster Dylan Tombides, who died on Friday at the age of 20.

Tombides, a highly-rated Australian striker, was initially diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011 but recovered after treatment and made his first-team debut last season.

But the disease returned and the popular youngster passed away on Friday, surrounded by his family.

[WEST HAM YOUNGSTER DIES AFTER CANCER BATTLE]

Before the home match with Crystal Palace, floral tributes were displayed by fans and the club:

Some of the biggest names in football and showbusiness also praised Tombides, including Hollywood star Samuel L. Jackson, who campaigned for cancer research alongside the player, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, and Australia legend Tim Cahill.

Dylan’s father Jim and brother Taylor – who is also a youth-team player at West Ham – laid his shirt on the turf before the match:

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off, with an image of Tombides holding his arms in a ‘hammer’ sign placed across the big screen at Upton Park.

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West Ham also announced they would retire his shirt number, 38, and used an image of the starlet as the background to their official Twitter page.

RIP Dylan.

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