50 Interviews– A private battle

20 September 2012

Written by: Erdem Koc

Interviewer:  Mark Robinson

Interview subject: Daniel Ward

Publication: Herald Sun

Publication date:  April 6, 2011

In a world where the rise and fall of football stars is played out in the full view of the public, former Melbourne player Daniel Ward fought a much more private battle. However in this tell-all interview with the Herald Sun’s Mark Robinson, Ward reveals his shame in becoming an out-of-control gambling addict.

A workman-like footballer by trade, Ward was never the type to attract big headlines, which until this interview probably allowed him and his addiction to slip under the radar and spiral into dangerous territory. But in this meeting with Robinson, the 136-game Demon is forced to confront the issues that plagued him for so long.

While the interview itself is interesting for its content and the revelations within it, it is the way Robinson structures his questions to evoke such an emotional response in Ward’s answers that drives the show. While he doesn’t place words in his interviewee’s mouth, Robinson is skilful enough as an interviewer to draw the deep sense of shame out of Ward in his replies, and uncover the ‘vulnerability’ he feels at being a recovering addict that was ‘failing as a father and husband’.

Overall, the interview gives the reader a detailed insight into the destructiveness of a lifestyle that puts gambling ahead of everything else. Ward openly admits the whole experience ‘broke his heart’, and the pain he speaks of is as informative to the reader as it is cleansing for him to reveal the extent of his pain.

Read the full interview here.

Ben Rowles is a first-year student studying a Bachelor of Sports Journalism at La Trobe University. Follow him on Twitter:@benrowles

See the rest of upstart’s 50 great interviews for journalists here.