David Hale and Daniel Ward were among the first players in the history of the AFL to be caught gambling on footy games and their errant punting has earned them nominations for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
Ward and Hale were fined by the AFL for betting on matches in 2007, alongside current Melbourne Demons coach Simon Goodwin. Ward was fined $10,000 while Hale was fined $5,000. Ward later revealed a crippling addiction to gambling, which started when he was playing and continued after he finished playing for the Demons.