While Blair Turgott's hat-trick stole the headlines, there was another hugely positive aspect to West Ham United's 3-1 friendly victory over Queens Park Rangers.

Dylan Tombides appeared as a second-half substitute, making his first appearance since his senior Hammers debut in the Capital One Cup third round tie with Wigan Athletic in October 2012.

The striker, who turned 19 on 8 March, continues to receive treatment after being diagnosed with testicular cancer in summer 2011 and has shown huge courage and determination to work his way back into the Development Squad reckoning. Naturally, Tombides could not hide his happiness at pulling on a claret and blue shirt again.

"It had been five months since I last played when I made my first team debut against Wigan Athletic, so it was a great feeling to get back out there," said the teenager. "I was more interested in seeing how I would get on fitness-wise than how I performed, to be honest, and I was really pleased because I felt I could have lasted a lot longer."

Usually a centre forward, Tombides was deployed in a wide midfield role by first-team coach Ian Hendon, who took charge for Tuesday's fixture. While he may not have had a sniff of goal during his 15-minute run out, the Perth-born player was pleased to play a part, wherever he was on the field.

"I played wide on the left, which is a bit more of a defensive role than I'm used to, but it was great for my fitness so I've got not complaints! When I first got the ball, I tried to nutmeg someone on the edge of my own penalty area and lost the ball, so my first contribution wasn't the best!

"Luckily, I got a few more opportunities to show what I could do and was involved in quite a nice move that ended with Frazer Shaw making a great run and having a shot, which was good."

The sight of Tombides on the Boleyn Ground pitch was welcomed by everyone at the club, particularly in the knowledge of the treatment the youngster continues to undertake on a weekly basis. Indeed, his courage and determination are a source of inspiration for every player and member of staff at Chadwell Heath.

"I train every day with the Development Squad or, when required, with the first-team squad, apart from Fridays, when I have two hours of treatment at the hospital.

"At present, I have two hours of intravenous chemotherapy in total every week. I go into the hospital and have one bag of chemo that lasts one hour, then they take it off and clean out all the tubes. I then have a second bag that lasts half an hour, so it takes about two hours in total.

"It makes me feel terrible but it is something that I have got to do. I then have Saturdays off and return to training on the Sunday or the Monday, depending on when the boys are in."

Having returned to action against QPR, the popular No39 is targeting more pitch-time between now and the end of the current campaign.

"I'm now in the final week of a 12-week training programme to get me ready to play again, so I am actually a week ahead of schedule.

"I have missed playing and everything else around it - the banter in the dressing room, getting nervous before kick-off, scoring and celebrating goals - so to get back on the pitch was brilliant.

"Now, I'm hoping to be available for every game, as long as I'm selected by the manager!"

West Bromwich Albion