West Ham United have announced that Dylan Tombides has died at the age of 20 after his battle with cancer.
Tombides died on Friday morning with his family by his side, having fought testicular cancer for the past three years after being diagnosed with it while representing Australia at the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico in the summer of 2011. He continued to train and made his debut for West Ham as a substitute in the Capital One Cup against Wigan Athletic last season and he was also on the bench against Burnley earlier this season.
Tombides, who played up front, was born in Perth, Australia, and was regarded as one of the brightest young talents at West Ham. He played for Australia Under-17s and Under-23s, appearing in the Asian Under-23 Championship in January, and he worked hard away from the pitch to raise awareness of male cancer, supporting the One for the Boys campaign.
A West Ham statement said: "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.
"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."
Tombides's death will be remembered by a minute's applause before Saturday afternoon's match against Crystal Palace at Upton Park and West Ham's players will wear black armbands in his memory.
In Australia, 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.
Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop said 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.
"Football was his life and he didn't miss a day's training even when he wasn't fit enough to train because of his treatment.
"He had an incredible hunger for life, which was why he fought this terrible disease so strongly. All of our thoughts are with Dylan's family at this time."
Tombides played his early football in Perth and Hong Kong before joining West Ham as a 15-year-old.
His disease was diagnosed when a random doping test at the Under-17 World Cup uncovered a tumour in one of his testicles.
Tombides had been having treatment in Germany recently and spent his 20th birthday in hospital, posting a thank you message on Twitter to those who had supported him and vowing to continue fighting the disease.
Tombides's brother Taylor, a West Ham youth player, tweeted that his brother was a "massive inspiration" to everyone: "R.I.P. Dylan my beloved brother you will be missed, but never forgotten."