TWO posthumous awards will be made at the Football Hall of Fame WA 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner/Induction Night in the Grand Ballroom at Crown Perth on November 26.
Budding superstar Dylan Tombides, who tragically died from testicular cancer at the age of 20 in 2014, will be inducted into the Hall of Merit for Players. He will be the youngest male to be posthumously honoured.
And former State team coach John Davies, who passed away at the age of 67 in 2015, will be inducted into the Hall of Recognition.
Football Hall of Fame WA committee chairman Louis Prospero said: “The Hall of Fame is honoured to be in a position to further acknowledge the achievements of Dylan and John.
“Dylan was on the cusp of what would have been a magnificent career, but the WA football family can be proud of what this talented youngster achieved in such a short space of time.
“John Davies brought much to the State as a player and a coach at State and club level and I was pleased to send him a letter before he died last year to confirm that he would be inducted into the Hall of Recognition.”
Perth-born Dylan Tombides, who played at junior level with Perth SC and Stirling Lions, signed for West Ham when he was only 15 as part of their academy and his attacking skills saw him stand out in the club’s youth teams.
He was promoted to the senior team in 2011 when only 17, but was an unused substitute in a Premier League game against Sunderland. However, he made his senior debut the following season in a League Cup game against Wigan when he was 18.
Australia was quick to recognise his undoubted talent and he played five times for the Under-17 team, many of them in the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico when he scored his first international goal. He was shortly afterwards diagnosed with testicular cancer.
After intense chemotherapy, he returned to football and, in January 2014, he represented Australia at the Asian U-22 Championship in Muscat, Oman. He played in games against the hosts, Iran, Japan, and Saudi Arabia as Australia reached the quarter-finals.
His bravery and determination to play in the Oman tournament was described as a “feat that defies medical logic.”
He died a few months later in London with his family at his bedside.
The next day, before a game against Crystal Palace at the Boleyn Ground, his father and brother laid a shirt on the centre spot which carried Tombides’ squad number 38 and his name. West Ham United announced that this number would be retired from use, an honour previously bestowed by the club only to Bobby Moore.
The Hammers have since immortalised Dylan with a special Champions Place stone outside the club’s new home, the stadium which staged the London Olympics in 2012. A statue was also unveiled of Dylan outside nib stadium in Perth.
In February 2015, The “Dylan Tombides DT38” charitable foundation was launched with the aims of fundraising, raising awareness of testicular cancer and of the education of young people on the subject.
John Davies also died of cancer, losing a lengthy battle when he passed away at his home in Brisbane in June 2015.
He was the younger brother of the celebrated Wales and Newcastle United player Reg Davies – and teamed up with Reg at Bayswater United when he emigrated to Australia at the age of 23 in 1971.
A pacy left winger with King’s Lynn in the English Eastern Counties League before heading Down Under, John quickly slotted into the Bayswater side that had just won promotion to the State League. Along with Reg, he became a key contributor as United won the Top Four Cup and finished runners-up in their first year in the State League.
John won selection in the WA State team in 1972, turning out against Hertha 03 Zehlendorf and Wolves.
He then moved to Sydney, and later New Zealand, before returning to Perth in 1976 to play for Inglewood Kiev.
State team coach Alan Vest was quick to restore John to the representative side – and he turned out in the squad that won the Marah Halim Cup in 1976 and also faced touring sides Tottenham and Sunderland that year.
John turned to coaching with Gosnells City and, in 1980, he led an Australian X1 in the King’s Cup in Bangkok. The representative side was made up of WA players. The team beat selected sides from China and Brunei, drew with Singapore and lost to Thailand B.
He became Spearwood Dalmatinac coach in 1982 – and led the team to a record-breaking State League championship victory, being unbeaten in 22 games.The following season Dalies were second in the State League but won the D’Orsogna Cup. He guided Dalies to another D’Orsogna Cup triumph in 1984.
That year, John took over as State team coach for a trip to India and led the side to second place in the prestigious DCM Trophy. They lost 1-0 to top Chinese side Liaoning FC in the final.
He moved to Perth Azzurri in 1985, taking the Sky Blues to runners-up in the D’Orsogna Cup. He coached Azzurri for two years before returning to Dalmatinacs. He bowed out of the game in 1990 after tasting success at amateur level with Morley Districts.
PIC ONE: Dylan Tombides shows off his West Ham jersey. PIC TWO: The DT38 charity foundation. PIC THREE: John Davies trains with Bayswater. PIC FOUR: Davies (third from left back row) with the State team.