West Ham United players will wear tee-shirts supporting Australian academy star Dylan Tombides after it was revealed he will need an operation to remove cancerous tumors.
Hammers manager Sam Allardyce approved a request by his players to pay special tribute to the Australian striker, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in June 2011 while representing the Joeys at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Tombides, tipped to star for the Socceroos, had been undergoing chemotherapy after his initial diagnosis and was hoping to return to training towards the end of the year, before cancerous cells were found in his lymph glands around Christmas.
Members of West Ham's senior squad, including captain Kevin Nolan and striker Carlton Cole, will wear the tee-shirts during the warm-up for the weekend match against Nottingham Forest, said a report in the Daily Mail.
The prodigious 17-year-old, whose brother Taylor is also on the books at West Ham, will undergo an urgent operation to have the cancer removed next week.
In November, he released a statement on the official West Ham website, thanking the club for its support.
"I just want to thank everyone who has been supporting me," Tombides said. "There have been so many people and it is hard to keep up with all the messages but it really has meant a lot.
"The club (West Ham) have been great.
"They have just been treating me normally but obviously they all ask me how I am getting on."
Leave your messages of support for Dylan and his family in the comments on this article
West Ham United
Andy Carroll is on the brink of joining West Ham United permanently after passing a medical with the Premier League club.