Legends match for dt38 organised by e13 events a huge success

Two thousand supporters poured into Chigwell Construction Stadium on Saturday (May 18th) to raise funds for DT38 in memory of Hammers Academy player Dylan Tombides.

On a warm late-spring afternoon, teams made up of Dagenham & Redbridge FC and West Ham United FC icons laced up their boots once again to support DT38, the charity set-up in memory of Dylan who passed away from testicular cancer in 2014, aged 20.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Australian-born forward’s passing and the match is one of the series of events taking place in 2024.

The fundraising fixture – organised by Ian Morgan of E13 Events – is expected to have brought in more than £20,000 for DT38, which will be used to support our work raising awareness of testicular cancer and encouraging males to check themselves once a month.

The ground was awash with Hammers heroes including Boys of ’86 Tony Cottee, Tony Gale, Phil Parkes, Ray Stewart and Geoff Pike, who carried out hosting duties.

Players lining up for The Irons, under former Academy boss Tony Carr as Manager, included Dean Ashton, James Collins, Matt Jarvis, Paul Konchesky, Anton Ferdinand, Jimmy Walker, Zavon Hines, Marlon Harewood and superstar influencer and Hammers fan Behzinga (aka. Ethan Payne) of The Sidemen.

They went toe-to-toe with a host of Daggers Legends, some of whom featured in the golden period of 2008-11, when the Club won promotion to League One.

Even mascots Digger the Dog and Hammerhead made an appearance to entertain young and old.

On the pitch, former Hammers midfielder Martin Allen was the referee and the legends served up a glorious goal-fest with the Daggers landing a 7-6 victory.

Goalscorers included Dean Ashton, Marlon Harewood, Zavon Hines, Lee Hodges and Dagenham favourites Jamie Cureton, and Darren Currie, amongst others.

On the 38th minute the game stood still as the crowd, players and officials observed an emotional minute’s applause for Dylan, who made his first team debut for the Hammers in 2012 under then boss Sam Allardyce. His No38 shirt was later retired by the Club.

Tracy Tombides, Mother of Dylan and Co-founder of DT38, said: “Today will live long in the memory.

“I’m so incredibly proud that so many people have come along today to remember my son Dylan and to pay tribute to him, as a young man and a football player.

“Thank you to both clubs and to the players, fans, helpers, sponsors and to everyone who has made this happen.

“In particular, I would like to say thanks to Ian Morgan of E13 Events as the main organiser and to the Legends Match Committee, I’m so grateful for everything you have done to make this day so special and so successful.

“The funds raised from today will all be used to educate and raise awareness of testicular cancer and to remind people to check their tackle every month to help save men and boy’s lives.”

Former Hammers goalkeeper Jimmy Walker, who had a stint “between the sticks”, said: “It was a fantastic day first and foremost, the crowds came out in numbers, the lads gave up their time and we all know what a great cause it is for Dylan and DT38.

“Tracy, Dylan’s Mum, does some fantastic work, she was even giving us a talk in the changing rooms before the game, reminding us that it’s so important to check ourselves.

“On the pitch, it wasn’t so good for me, I got chipped a couple of times and that’s me retired, again!

“But joking aside, it’s been a fantastic day and to see everyone turn out for it is so well deserved and it’s been great to be involved with it.”

Reflecting on the occasion, Ian Morgan of E13 Events, said: “The Legends Match was a great success and we are so pleased to have received so many messages from both the fans and players on how much the day meant to them.

“Not only was it a great day of fun and laughter, but most importantly, the awareness and funds raised was also great.

“We also want to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported us in putting the day together and hope you enjoyed the day too.”

In 2020 DT38 launched the Check-1-Two Campaign to urge men to get serious about checking their testicles once a month and in 2023 they released their free E-Calendar which automatically sends a reminder alert to subscribers’ mobile devices on the first of every month.

To find out more about DT38, to sign up to the free E-Calendar or to make a donation visit our homepage.

Check out the Dagenham & Redbridge FC v West Ham United FC Legends Match Picture Gallery here: