United for Dylan

United for Dylan

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Founder of DT38 Tracy Tombides stands next to a statue of her son Dylan Tombides outsides nib Stadium in Perth. Photograph - Aaron Van Rongen.

A number of sports clubs in the southeast metro region supported the highly-anticipated Manchester United Legends game on Saturday.

The likes of Paul Scholes, Dwight Yorke, Keith Gillespie and Bryan Robson played against Professional Footballers Australia at nib Stadium to raise awareness for the DT38 Foundation.

The foundation was set up in memory of Perth boy and West Ham United player Dylan Tombides who passed away in 2014 at the age of 20 after a three-year battle with testicular cancer.

The foundation aimed to raise awareness, focus on youth education through teaching programs and provide opportunities linked to accessible activities in the community.

DT38 hosted the game and despite United losing 3-0 Maddington FC striker Joe Williams said it was a brilliant night.

Mr Williams was one of the 12,000 in a strong crowd who watched the game.

It was his first time at the stadium and the first football match he had ever watched live.

“I can’t believe I actually saw Paul Scholes play,” he said.

“He was my hero growing up and I although I didn’t know much about DT38 I learnt about it at the game and I think it was for a great cause.”

At the 38th minute Mr Williams joined the crowd and clapped for one minute in honour of Mr Tombides’ jersey number, which was retired by West Ham United following his death.

Armadale resident and football enthusiast Garry Yerby said the game was enjoyable and for a good cause while Armadale Football Club player Kyle Cantor said the game did its job in raising awareness.

“Australia dominated the United side,” he said.

“It was a good night and I’ve learnt a lot about the foundation.

“The match definitely did its job in raising awareness.”

Mr Tombides’ mother Tracy Tombides said she hoped people would go on the internet and search for the foundation and read her son’s story.

“We need to have open conversation about testicular cancer,” she said.

“We need to talk about it amongst each other and work to raise awareness.”

Ms Tombides said she was very proud about the event.

“To have Manchester United come out to sunny Perth is great,” she said.

“The sport is definitely rising here.”

MUTV presenter and sports journalist Stewart Gardner said he went to the Manchester United supporters club in the city a few days prior to the match.

He said he and his colleagues were struck by the passion the supporters had for the team.

“We’re lucky enough to watch the games at reasonable times in England,” he said.

“The fact that many here watch the games at any hour day or night because of the time difference really shows the interest and passion supporters have.”

Mr Gardner said the Manchester United legends team was the first time a United team had been in Perth since the mid 1970s.

He said there was a lot of excitement and he hoped to come back soon.

For more information about DT38 visit dt38.co.uk.