Young WA soccer star loses cancer battle
Sad loss: Dylan Tombides in action during the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico in 2011. Picture: FIFA

One of the country's most promising soccer players, Perth striker Dylan Tombides, has died age 20 after a battle with testicular cancer.

Tombides, who played for English club West Ham United, died yesterday morning with his family by his side.

His cancer was diagnosed during Australia's under-17 World Cup campaign in Mexico in 2011. He resumed training the following year.

Tombides, who was born and raised in WA, was a star at that World Cup campaign and his skills were likened to a young Harry Kewell.

He played junior soccer for Wembley Downs, Stirling Lions and Perth, then moved to Macau in 2008 with his parents and younger brother.

A year later he moved to England where his talent was spotted by West Ham.

Tombides made the bench for an English Premier League match at age 17 and had been a regular scorer in West Ham's reserves.

He made his first team debut in September 2012.

Don Evans, president of Stirling Lions, said last night: "We have tragically lost one of the most gifted and level-headed footballers our club has had the privilege of guiding along the football dream path."

The club will observe a minute's silence at all games this weekend.

West Ham will mark Tombides' death with a minute's applause ahead of today's match against Crystal Palace. Hammers' players will also wear black armbands in his memory.

The West Australian

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