Today's Birthday 4/2

Taylor Thompson-Fuller
Former AFL player and Essendon coach James Hird won the 1996 Brownlow Medal

Today's Birthday, February 2: Former AFL player and coach James Hird (1973 - )

Former Essendon coach James Hird is now brokering the sale of European soccer clubs and selling football boots.

The former AFL star told ABC podcast Santo, Sam and Ed that he is now a devoted soccer dad, with his kids aspiring professional players.

He also revealed that he has been involved in brokering the deals of a few large European football clubs.

"You get wowed by the name of the club. But when you look at the economics, they're in dire straits," he said.

He described the football club brokering business as "an absolute soap opera", detailing the inner workings of negotiations for the premier league club Newcastle.

"The lady who was trying to buy it won't (meet the selling price). He (owner Mike Ashley) won't even sit down with her in a meeting," he said.

James Albert Hird was born in Canberra and grew up in the city playing AFL, soccer and rugby league.

He was drafted to the AFL in 1990, but missed the majority of the 1991 season because he was injured.

Hird wasn't selected for the regular Essendon team until 1993 and was a part of the premiership winning team of the 1994 season. In 1996 he won the Brownlow medal.

But his dream run ended in 1997, when he only played seven games the entire season, and 13 games the next due to injuries.

The turn of the millennium saw Hird resume his position injury free, win the premiership and be awarded the Norman Smith Medal for best on ground.

Although not as successful as the year before, Hird continued playing for Essendon and eventually retired as a club legend in 2007.

Three years later he was appointed as a coach at Essendon.

He had varying success during his tenure until 2013, when he was accused of being involved in the club's supplements saga.

The saga saw the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and the World Anti-Doping Agency investigate the club for the use of illegal supplements.

Hird was suspended for his alleged involvement in the supplements program.

He returned in 2015 following his suspension, but resigned in 2016.