DOB: 9 July 1977
Debut: Round 10, 1998 against Adelaide at Football Park
Last Game: Round 22, 2007 against Carlton at MCG
From: Hoppers Crossing/Western U18/Fitzroy, Selection #19, 1996 Rookie Draft & Melbourne, Selection #81 1997 Rookie Draft
Number: 55 (1997 Reserves), 49 (1998), 26 (1999-2000), 10 (2001-2007)
Grand Final team - 2000
Life Member - 2007
Picked up after playing in the Fitzroy Reserves, and guesting in Melbourne's seconds, Ward was promoted from Melbourne's rookie list when Brett Lovett retired. He played four games in 1998 and was voted Most Improved Player, but a broken arm kept him out of the finals. He established himself in the senior side in 1999, playing 18 games, but the following season was affected by injuries. First he missed the start of the year with a wrist complaint, then lost another five weeks to a torn hamstring, not playing until Round 18, but retained his spot all the way through to the losing Grand Final.
Finally free from injury issues, Ward played all 22 games of 2001 and finished fifth in the Best and Fairest. The next year he played 16 games in a much-improved side, earning maximum Brownlow Medal votes for a four goal performance in Melbourne's Round 14 comeback victory over Brisbane.
Ward added another 20 games in 2003, and in July of that year it was revealed he was heavily in debt to a bookmaker. In 2007 he was forced to own up to a substantial gambling problem and was fined $10,000 after admitting to betting on AFL matches. In 2011 he again revealed that he'd sought treatment for gambling addiction.
His 2005 season was destroyed by a pre-season shoulder injury, and he didn't play until late in the year. Ward was best on ground in the Sandringham Grand Final side. 2006 and 2007 saw him a regular in the side again, and he played 17 and 18 games respectively before being delisted at the end of 2007. He then joined North Adelaide. In 2011 Ward captain/coached Lalbert Football Club, who became the Mallee Eagles in 2012 during his second year with the club. Joined Monbulk in 2013, was playing coach for the last three years and remained there until retiring at the end of 2016.
|Round 21, 1999||Melee||$1000 fine|
|Grand Final 2000||Melee||$3500 fine|
|Round 3, 2001||Abusive Language||Withdrawn|
|Round 1, 2004||Unduly Rough Play||3 matches|
|Round 16, 2006||Melee||$1500 fine|
Age - 26/07/2003
Herald Sun - 06/04/2011
Herald Sun - 24/08/2016
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melbfc.com.au profile - 2001