David King reveals spray he copped from James Hird during Essendon match


AFL great David King has revealed his most awkward moment working on the boundary line was when he copped a mighty spray from James Hird. 

King was on boundary line duties at Marvel Stadium with Hird coaching Essendon at the time. 

The former North Melbourne premiership player was told by his producer to get an injury update after Essendon star Dyson Heppell rolled his ankle just before half-time.

But as he walked around looking for information, he ultimately found himself locked inside Essendon’s changerooms as Hird was in the middle of a half-time spray to his players.

“So the producer down the earpiece says ‘listen, you’re going to have to go into the Essendon rooms, see how you go we need to know whether he’s going to come back on or not,'” King told SEN.

“A significant player, I’m not sure whether he was captain or not at that stage, but let’s just say he was captain.

“So I get into the rooms and there is no one there. You know when there’s no one else there but the players, the coaches and the medical staff, you’re in the wrong spot … but you’ve got to get an answer.

“Steven Alessio was the footy manager at that stage and I asked him if he could get anything from the doctors for me so that I can report back, just anything.

“Anyway, he ducked off into the medical room. As he did that, James Hird came out of the coaches’ room and started berating the players and that’s when you know you’re in the wrong spot.

“And I’m trying not to look, I’m trying to hide, you know how you put your hands over your eyes and say no one can see me? I was doing that.

“Then from nowhere Hirdy did the same thing and he gave it to me ‘get out, what are you so-and-so’s doing here’ and you just put your hand up and walk out.

However, in a funny twist to it all, King revealed Hird picked up the phone later that night and apologised to him for the spray he copped.

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“They ended up winning that game and at about midnight my phone rang. ‘Geez I was a bit hard on you at half-time,'” he said.

“I thought that was fantastic for Hirdy to ring and have a laugh. We are in their space, it’s a different environment, isn’t it?”


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