MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 18: James Hird cries as he talks to the media following his resignation as head coach of the Essendon Bombers AFL Football Club at True Vaule Solar Centre on August 18, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Essendon has released a statement on former player and coach James Hird, who was rushed to hospital on Wednesday night following a suspected overdose.

“On behalf of the entire Essendon family our thoughts are with James Hird and his family,” club chairman Lindsay Tanner said in a statement on the club’s website.

“This is a personal and private matter and we ask the media to respect the privacy of James and his family.

“The Club will continue to offer its support to James and the Hird family.”

Reports emerged on Thursday afternoon that Hird had been rushed to hospital following a major health scare which Channel Seven later reported as “an intentional poisoning overdose”.

Hird was rushed to Cabrini Hospital in Malvern from his Toorak home at around 10pm on Wednesday night. He was then later taken to a specialist mental health centre.