Didge: former Mt Lawley teacher Natasha Evans writes book in tribute of Dylan Tombides

Natasha Evans and Anthony Princi. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Natasha Evans and Anthony Princi. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

A FORMER Servite College graduate who wrote a children’s book inspired to her late family friend and soccer player Dylan Tombides looks to deliver a deep message to school students.

DT38 Foundation managing director Natasha Evans and Noranda illustrator Anthony Princi created a picture book titled Didge, the nickname of former West Ham United and Stirling Lions player Dylan Tombides, who past away from testicular cancer in April 2014.

Didge reflects Dylan’s story and soccer career and is based on courage, persistence and love with the aim to inspire people of all ages.

Ms Evans, a former Mt Lawley Primary School teacher, said she wanted to write a book for Dylan’s family to have on their bookshelf.

“After he passed away, I took it pretty heavily and within my family it was a really horrible time for us all,” she said.

“I was trying to think of a way in which I could tell his story in a positive way because there was so much more to him than just the way he passed away and his illness.

“For me, it was like how he could be remembered for the person that he was and the qualities and values that he had.”

Ms Evans wrote a teaching program to compliment the book and planned to implement it in schools in the United Kingdom and Perth.

“We are going to be working with Mt Lawley Primary School and obviously I have got that personal attachment but our kids went through their own adversity when the school burnt down,” she said.

“We will be working closely with Dylan’s school which is at Kapinara Primary School.

“We have also got a lot of support from a lot of all boys’ schools who have shown a real interest in the charity and we have done a lot of testicular cancer awareness with them.”

Mr Princi said his illustrations included many references to Perth hotspots and sporting clubs.

“We have actually used the same football shirts as the clubs that he played for, starting with Wembley Downs, Stirling Lions and Perth Soccer Club,” he said.

Ms Evans said the book revolved around the Perth soccer scene.

“My family has been involved in the local football community since I was a little girl,” she said.

“(Dylan) was obviously an excellent example of what the local footballing scene can do to develop players.”

She said the main message of the book was about how people could overcome challenges in life.

“This is only going to be the first of our educational books and programs that will run out into the community,” she said.

“For us, it is ensuring kids go out to lead positive and meaningful lives and they go out and achieve their dreams no matter how big or small they are.”

Didge was formally launched today at Loton Park.

For more information, go to https://dt38.co.uk/.