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James Hird's father hits out at Bomber president Paul Little

James Hird's father is the latest supporter of the suspended Essendon coach to attack club chairman Paul Little, taking umbrage with his remarks that his son would ''whack'' anyone.

In a further sign there is still work to be done before the relationship between Hird and club bosses is mended, Allan Hird has written to Fairfax Media, angry that Little, in an interview published on Saturday, said: ''James is a competitive person. As a footballer, if he was whacked on the football field he would whack right back, but that is just the wrong thing for him to do now. There will be no more of that - no courts, no lawyers.''

This prompted Allan Hird to question whether Little understood how James had gone about his glittering playing career.

''Paul Little may have attended many games in which James Hird played but how many did he actually watch? I have seen most games of football Jim has played since he started in the under 7s with the West Canberra Football Club,'' he said. ''I have never seen him 'whack' any player. When he was 'whacked' he just went in harder and often helped to win games. Jim played with distinction and fairness. He coped with adversity extremely well.

''His Brownlow Medal and the five best-and-fairest awards are testament to the fact that others had the same view.''

James Hird was suspended for a year by the AFL for his role in the club's contentious supplements program. He has been recontracted until the end of 2016.

''I know he is coping with his current adversity well. Knowing him as I do, I am confident he will continue to do so without gratuitous advice from others about how to behave,'' Allan Hird said.

James' father won an Essendon reserves best and fairest but his grandfather, Allan snr, is a club legend.

Allan's comments come after Ian Hanke, a former Liberal Party public relations adviser who guided Hird through last year's scandal, attacked Little for ''undermining'' Hird in a bid to ''appease'' AFL chief Andrew Demetriou.

Little said he was convinced Hird would ''return to the job a better person''.

Essendon would not comment.

20 comments so far

  • If Hird wants his 'glittering football career' memories to stay intact, he would say 'I did the wrong thing, i brought seedy elements into my club in the pursuit of a flag and failed I now step down from being involved in footy because I have forever tarnished the integrity of the sport.'

    It's called 'personal responsibility' for doing something wrong, and potentially causing harm and bringing the ethics of a sport into disrepute.

    A person of true integrity works by such morals.

    Is James Hird that person is the $1million p.a question?

    Commenter
    Ozzie Battla
    Location
    Greensborough
    Date and time
    February 11, 2014, 8:34AM
    • I agree Ozzie, I respected Hird as a player bigtime. I was at his last game at Subiaco Oval. The crowd there even gave the man a standing ovation. And we know how hard the Eagles home crowd can be. That say a lot about the man Hird - the footballer.

      But now he needs to be a man and take responsibility. Mind you that time was last year.

      Commenter
      Kaddy
      Date and time
      February 11, 2014, 10:33AM
  • Allan Hird is correct, James Hird was a very fair player. I watched his entire career and never saw him "whack" anyone.

    Little's behaviour is strange: he offers Hird his job back, with full pay for the suspension and now he has a crack at him, reigniting issues that the club is trying to put behind it. Football is a high pressure environment, Little needs to learn how to be cool.

    Commenter
    Dew diligence
    Date and time
    February 11, 2014, 8:56AM
    • Dew

      Poor choice of words by Little; however, perhaps they were used, not in the literal sense, but possibly even as a term of endearment. 'Whack', in the sense that Hird would rebound irrespective of the games situation or any physical toll on his own body. Not to get up and whack someone back.

      As a disclaimer, I do not support Essendon, nor Hird's recent behaviour.

      Commenter
      $keptic
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      February 11, 2014, 11:11AM
    • Yes Allan Hird is correct. Jim was constantly being hit by opposition players but never even bothered looking at them, let alone hitting them. I think Little needs to keep his own counsel on this issue until ASADA release their findings, but to be fair when he spoke of James Hird "whacking back" he didn't mean that, he was simply using a rather clumsy turn of phrase. No big deal.

      I'm amazed at how much press The Age is giving all this stuff. Comments from Little, tweets from Hanke, a rebuttal from Hird Senior. I read it all because I'm a Bomber fan but if I was not I'd be a bit annoyed at the footy writing resources of Melbourne's most respected newspaper being consumed in this way. Memo to The Age - the really interesting thing about the footy is the footy.

      Commenter
      Laki
      Location
      Windy Hill
      Date and time
      February 11, 2014, 12:00PM
  • The saga continues... Lots of egos. No one willing to take responsibility.

    Commenter
    JD
    Date and time
    February 11, 2014, 11:01AM
    • Agree. Someone needs to take responsibility for all those infractions.

      Commenter
      Laki
      Location
      Windy Hill
      Date and time
      February 11, 2014, 2:51PM
  • So, Caroline Wilson has been back 2 days, and wow, 3 stories all of a sudden come up about how tumultuous the club is and how Hird is being so bitter. Welcome back Caro, its been a lonely summer with no Bombers news without you.

    Commenter
    Jumping Jack
    Date and time
    February 11, 2014, 11:23AM
    • Wow, a father stands up for his dodgy son... #nopulitzerprizehere

      Commenter
      Delusional
      Location
      JibbaJab Hill
      Date and time
      February 11, 2014, 11:42AM
      • Of course he will defend his son. It's not the first time a parent has defended someone associated with drugs. He'll be remembered for drugs not a footy career.

        Commenter
        Jeff
        Date and time
        February 11, 2014, 12:47PM

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