Oxford

Oxford United superfan Steve Dyer dies of cancer

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Media captionSteve Dyer thanked Oxford United and their fans for supporting him

A terminally ill Oxford United fan who was made an honorary member of the team has died of cancer.

Steve Dyer received tributes and messages of support from fans and the club's chairman Darryl Eales after he was admitted to a hospice on Friday.

The 59-year-old was given four months to live when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November 2015.

On Tuesday he was given the number 12 shirt on the official squad list in the match programme.

Image copyright Dyer family
Image caption Steve with his wife Carol

Speaking before Mr Dyer died, Mr Eales said: "It is a story that has touched everyone.

"Steve is such a positive person and is fighting so hard. He is part of the club and we want to show him that he is in our thoughts every week."

The former Oxford resident moved to New Hampshire in the United States in 1986.

He flew back to the UK to watch the U's play at Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final last April and was invited to meet the team.

Last year, Mr Dyer donated two Oxford United season tickets to the Helen and Douglas House hospice.

The charity's chief executive Clare Periton said: "[The tickets] brought much joy and happiness to the young people who went along to the matches.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

Image copyright Kat Orman
Image caption Steve with his son Steven and BBC Oxford's Kat Orman at Wembley

Oxford United supporter Andy Scholes - who has also been diagnosed with terminal cancer - has been following Mr Dyer's journey on social media.

He said: "From what I've heard he's just been a statue of courage, he's given people like me in his situation the strength in our lives to move on."

Yellow Army organiser Joe Nicholls said Mr Dyer - who was made the honorary 12th member of the Oxford United squad for the rest of season - would be honoured in the 12th minute of the club's trip to Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final.

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