Former Essendon coach James Hird was rushed to hospital on Wednesday night after a suffering a suspected drug overdose.
An ambulance was called to his Toorak home where he was taken to Cabrini hospital for treatment. Hird, 43 was subsequently moved to a specialist mental health centre where he is still receiving care.
Friends close to Hird had expressed their fears about the former coach’s welfare in recent weeks.
While in public it looked like Hird was staying strong following the Essendon doping scandal friends today feared he may have been putting on a brave face.
Hird previously opened up on the 2012 supplements saga which devastated Essendon and damaged the 34 past and present footballers who were ultimately banned for doping as well as destroying his coaching career.
“As both a former coach and player, I have many conflicting and deep emotions,” Hird said.
“I feel deeply, deeply sorry for the players. I believe the players are innocent.
I feel guilt, shame, anger and regret all at once. I also have some pride at what the players achieved in the most difficult of circumstances and admiration for the resilience and strength they have shown through these years.
I trusted that the protocol was followed, that when I and others issued further instructions, they were followed.
That’s why if I were to do things differently, it would be to trust less, to ask more questions, and demand more answers.
I should have known more. I should have done more when the opportunity came and I feel extremely guilty about that,” he continued. “I feel very guilty. I feel very sad. I feel very upset for the players. I don’t feel like a victim myself but those 34 players are victims of that situation.”
We wish the father of four a speedy recovery and hope he is back with his family soon. If you or someone you know is dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts please seek help and call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Photos: Google images