James Hird

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1 Playing statistics to end of 2010 season .

James Hird (born 4 February 1973) is a former professional Australian rules footballer and the current coach of the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League.

Primarily a midfielder/half forward, Hird was often given free rein by former Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy to play wherever he, Hird, thought necessary.[citation needed] Hird was the joint winner of the 1996 Brownlow Medal with Brisbane Bears midfielder Michael Voss, as a half forward. Hird is often considered one of the greatest footballers of the modern era, being considered a certain future member of the AFL Hall of Fame[1] and being listed by journalist Mike Sheahan's as one of the top 50 players of all time.[2]


Early life

The son of Allan and Margaret Hird, James Hird was born in Canberra on 4 February 1973. His father worked in the public service, while his mother was a teacher.[3] The pair met in Melbourne, before they moved to the Australian capital in 1969. Allan, who has previously played four games for the Essendon Football Club in 1966–67, initiated the move, enabling him to be player coach of Eastlake in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) football competition. James remained the Hird's only child for close to three years, until Amilia was born, and then Katherine two years later. Despite starting his life in the suburb of Ainslie, Hird soon moved to a traditional 1970s house in Latham, an outer northern suburb. The house was within a kilometre of a creek, and Hird and his friends would often ride their bikes to the creek to fish or hunt for yabbies.[4] When Hird was in high school, he moved to the suburb of Reid, and lived near four large sporting ovals.[5]

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