In a weekend where important victories helped shape the destiny of league positions at both the top and the bottom of the Premier League, two more important stories evolved. To paraphrase Bill Shankly's famous quote about Football being more important than life and death, this weekend the stories of Jonas Gutierrez and Dylan Tombides disproved the premise, as football remembered the brave personal battles these two have had to face.

The biggest cheer at St James' Park was not for their 1-0 victory over Aston Villa but was for the announcement of Gutierrez on the substitute bench.

In September 2014 the club announced that former Argentinian international Jonas Gutierez was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He had an operation to remove his left testicle before undergoing chemotherapy. The fact he has made such a recovery to be able to return to fitness and be able to take his place in the squad is a truly remarkable success story. He actually made his return to competitive football when captaining the under-21s in December.

At West Ham United, the fans collectively got together for a minute's applause in the 38th minute. The tribute was to former youth player Dylan Tombides who lost his battle to the same illness, testicular cancer, in April 2014. Tombides was given the Bobby Moore treatment as his shirt number - 38 - was retired.

The applause was intended to launch the DT38 foundation in tribute to the young Australian player who died at the age of 20 after a three year battle against the illness. Amidst emotional scenes, Mum Tracylee now knows that had their son had an ultra-sound scan earlier, it could have been prevented. "Please do not let this happen to your son, brother, friend or father," she appealed.

The lump appeared in 2011 and initially he was diagnosed with having a cyst. In 2012 he had his lymph nodes removed and he felt that he was getting better. But by 2013 the cancer had spread to his liver. Even then he underwent more chemotherapy in November and amazingly flew out to Oman only a month later for the under-22 championships for Australia, making four appearances.

Tragically on his return to England, he was informed his liver had stopped working and he died on 18 April.

These stories transcend sport and it is fitting that both were remembered by their clubs and their fans. For West Ham and Newcastle, this weekend the focus was on what really matters - the health of their players. For once we are reminded that players in the midst of the Premier League are human. In an environment where teams are encouraged to win at all costs, it is a sobering reminder that there cannot be anything more important.