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Dons express support for Hird

March 17, 2017 2:59 PM

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Essendon Chairman Lindsay Tanner has expressed the support of the Club to James Hird today.

"On behalf of everyone in the Essendon family, I'd like to again extend our best wishes to James and his family," Tanner said

"It has obviously been a very challenging period for James personally but we are all pleased he is recovering well with the support he needs around him and we hope to see him back at the Club in the near future."

Hird has published the first in a series of articles he'll write for the Herald Sun.

He says he's looking forward to seeing the smiles on the faces of the Club's supporters throughout 2017.

The Bombers open their season next Saturday in a blockbuster clash with rival Hawthorn.

"This season, Essendon, led by John Worsfold and Dyson Heppell, will bring its supporters a new start and incredible joy," Hird wrote in the Herald Sun.

"We all hope for a premiership, but just to see the red and black play with its best players and unencumbered will be something I, for one, am looking forward to.

"The Essendon theme for this year is about their comeback story. I can't wait to watch the comeback for many reasons.  But mostly to see the smile on the Essendon supporters' faces.

"For them I hope 2017 is a great year on the field.  Bring on 2017 and the year of the comeback."

In the article, Hird outlined the events that led to him spending five weeks in a Melbourne psychiatric facility.

"Everyone has a breaking point and I reached mine after years of continual stress," he wrote.

"I am not ashamed to say that I needed the care I received and without it I do not know where I would be.

"Depression is more than just sadness.

"It is an all-encompassing, debilitating, real sickness that strikes many people.

"I am eternally grateful for the outstanding professional support I received from the nurses and doctors."

Hird also praised the support he received from his family.

"I have never seen or witnessed a person as strong as Tania. Her unconditional, all-encompassing love, positivity, strength and ability to keep rising to the challenges that have been put in front of our family has been extraordinary," he wrote.

"Over the past four years, I have been short-tempered, distant, hard to live with, rude at times, and ill.

"Tania, my children, my extended family and friends have loved, supported and cared for me when I didn't deserve their support. 

"It is the unconditional love and care alongside the professional attention that has given me a second chance at life. I am an extremely lucky man to get a second chance and I am embracing it with everything I have."