Sheedy says he'll reach out to Hird

Essendon coach James Hird (right) with former coach Kevin Sheedy in 2015.
Essendon coach James Hird (right) with former coach Kevin Sheedy in 2015. JOE CASTRO

ESSENDON great Kevin Sheedy has called for patience with James Hird as he receives treatment for a drug overdose.

Sheedy, a long-time mentor to the Bombers champion, has not spoken to Hird since he was taken to hospital last week and then transferred to a specialist mental health centre.

He expressed his concern for his friend and the "very sad situation”, and will be among those to reach out to Hird when he's ready.

"We just can't rush in, we have to be very patient and sit back and when you're allowed to, we can actually connect,” Sheedy told RSN.

"He's just a very, very good person.

"I keep thinking that with all the things that have been happening, when you get down to where you feel like you don't want to live any more, it's a very sad situation.

"People have got to look at that.

"We've just got to give him space and help him get back into the life we know he can have, and his family.”

Sheedy coached Hird throughout the Brownlow Medallist's entire career and the pair finished their time as coach and player respectively, on the same day.

Hird was taken to Cabrini hospital last Wednesday after an ambulance was called to his Toorak home to treat him for a suspected drug overdose.

His wife, Tania Hird, has asked for privacy.

"We wish to express our appreciation for the public support that has been given to James and our family since news of his hospitalisation became known,” she said.

"At this time James and the Hird family are in need of privacy.

"James' health is our primary focus and concern.”

Hird's father, Allan, expects his son to make a full recovery and said his family has rallied around him.

"I'm concerned about him, I have been all along,” he said.

"He's my son and it's a shocking thing.”

"I hope Jim is on the road to recovery and I expect he will make a full recovery.”


Topics:  james hird

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