Posts tagged ‘Dylan Tombides’

Monumental Decision

As someone who has gone through testicular cancer the Dylan Tombides Foundation is a great initiative to remind young healthy men that cancer is undiscerning and that your life can be snatched away from you ate any time.

Dylan unfortunately  lost his battle with testicular cancer in 2014 aged just 20. West Ham United the club which he was signed with in England’s Premier league paid him the biggest honour by retiring his shirt number, 38, an honour that previously had only been bestowed on former captain of the club and England when they won the World Cup, Bobby Moore.

Tombides joined West Ham aged 15 and was tipped for great things having represented Australia at U17 and U23 level, but sadly he never lived to fulfil his full potential.

There is talk that a statue may be erected in his memory outside NIB Stadium. Just over a week ago Liberal MP Ian Britza presented a letter, written by Socceroos’ Captain Mile Jedinak on behalf of the DT38 Foundation, to Premier Colin Barnett asking the Western Australian State Government to fund the estimated $100,000 cost of the monument.

This does raise a number of questions, if the state government agrees to fund such a monument, will they not be opening the floodgates for monuments to other young athletes whose lives end abruptly and prematurely? Western Australia has produced many remarkable individuals who have contributed greatly to society, yet few have such a memorial funded by the state.

The sum quoted is a great deal of money and one cannot help feeling that such a sum of money could be used far more effectively in order to alert young men from the ages of 16-35 to be aware of the signs of testicular cancer, because if caught early it is a very curable disease.

If a statue is to be erected, is NIB stadium the best place for it? Sure Dylan was a talented footballer so there is a link to NIB Stadium, home of Perth Glory, but Dylan never played for the A-league side, so will a statue have the resonance and desired effect at the this ground rather than say Stirling Lions where he played his junior football?

As this is a young man’s disease one cannot help thinking that the statue should be in a location where many young men would pass it on a daily basis, so that every day as they walk past the loss of one so young resonates. If it makes one man a week go for a check up, and saves more than one life a year it would be worth it. Tucked away at a stadium used roughly one day a fortnight, one wonders if it would have the same important impact.

According to the DT38 Foundation website the mission of the Foundation is “To provide testicular cancer support and awareness through education and opportunities.” The vision is to ‘Change the way testicular cancer is diagnosed.’ If that is truly the case one has to ask how much a statue – as lovely a gesture as it is – will help the Foundation achieve those goals.

As the website quite rightly states delay is deadly. Education is the key. So if we are to truly honour Dylan such decisions need to be thought through very carefully and some of the emotion needs to be taken out. What truly is the best way of making sure his life did not end in vain, what is the best way of ensuring that his legacy is that in passing he saves the lives of other young men?


April 1, 2015 at 8:39 am 1 comment

Vale: Dylan Tombides

Western Australia has produced some outstanding footballers over the years and many have taken the route to the top via the West Ham United academy. One such player hoping to follow in the path of Stan Lazarides and Richard Garcia was Dylan Tombides.

It therefore comes as a huge shock to hear that his life has come to an end at the tender age of 20.

Tombides played youth team football with Stirling Lions in Western Australia and joined West Ham United aged 15. He Played for West Ham in their reserve team and was named in the first team to make his Premier League debut on 22 May 2011 versus Sunderland but remained an unused substitute.

In 2011 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer which was discovered following a random drugs test taken after he had played for Australia U-17 team in a 4-0 defeat against Uzbekistan at the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico.

In June 2012, he was told he was back to full health and returned to training. He celebrated in style making his professional debut on 25 September 2012 for West Ham in a 4–1 home loss against Wigan Athletic in the League Cup. He came on as an 84th minute substitute. It was to be his only appearance.

Sadly the cancer returned and he was forced to miss the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, due to having to undergo surgery as part of his on-going battle with the disease. Everything looked to be on track as he was one of seven overseas based players in Aurelio Vidmar’s 23-man squad for the 2014 AFC U-22 Championships in Oman in January. It was a tournament, he hoped would help him stake a claim to be part of Ange Postecoglou’s World Cup squad, before heading to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.

Regrettably for fans of the game it was not to be. Today he lost his long battle with cancer and Australia lost a talent that was yet to shine on the world stage. Yet judging by the comments already coming from his club he touched the lives of many, and will hopefully not be forgotten.

Our thoughts at this time are with his family, friends and team mates.

West Ham United will show their respect with a minute’s applause ahead of Saturday’s Barclays Premier League fixture with Crystal Palace at the Boleyn Ground. The players will also wear black armbands in his memory.

Rest in Peace.

April 18, 2014 at 9:25 pm Leave a comment

High Five

It was great to see – yes in Germany the under 17 World Cup has been televised – the five Western Australians in the squad all get on the park. Jesse Makarounas, Mitchell Oxborrow, Riley Woodcock, Tom King and Dylan Tombides, all took to the field in their unlucky loss 1-0 to Brazil. Who can remember Western Australia having five representatives on the field in one match for Australia?

Australia will be hoping for a win in their final group game against Denmark on Monday. Denmark has lost their two games and are bottom of a group. Brazil are with six points from their two games. Ivory Coast has three points as do Australia but are ahead on goal difference, so the Australians will be hoping for a win, and that Brazil beat the Ivorians.

Congratulations to Kenny Lowe and all associated with the NTC for their part in these players development.

June 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm Leave a comment

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