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David Schwarz - Sports Heroes - Retired AFL Star and Commentator

Travels From Victoria

David Schwarz

Retired AFL Star and Commentator

David's AFL career saw him reach both the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Bursting onto the scene as a young player in the 90s, 'The Ox' was on the cusp of superstardom. He was known for his exciting playing style and captivated audiences game after game. However, after his retirement, David was on the verge of death or jail, losing every dollar he'd ever earned to gambling addiction.

In 1994, David made the most marks in the competition and booted 60 goals. In the final round, he kicked nine goals against the Sydney Swans. He played two thrilling finals against Carlton and the Western Bulldogs, both vividly remembered by the AFL and its many fans today. 

Unfortunately, his career took a sharp turn in the mid-90s due to a string of knee reconstructions. Miraculously, he overcame his injuries and returned to the game as a full forward and centre half-forward, winning Melbourne's best and fairest in 1999 and representing Victoria in the State of Origin. 

David retired from AFL in 2001 after an eleven-year career and 173 games with the Melbourne Demons.

In 2010, he published his best-selling autobiography "All Bets Are Off", an honest and unfiltered account of his life, including his father's murder and gambling addiction.

At just fourteen years old, David won his first bet, $58.50 at Mooney Valley. 

His father had been a punter, and although his mother had told him not to gamble, David quickly grew an addiction to it. From that point on, David gambled every day of his life until he was thirty-two years old. His addiction went right through his playing days and post-career until he hit what he described as "rock bottom". David saw over $5 million go down the drain and left the sport he loved owing a seven-digit sum and without a cent to his name. 

It was only after a disastrous punting experience on a South Australian race meet that David sought help – mainly from his wife. In 2005, he made his last bet, and since then, he has turned his life around and paid off every loan he owned.

In 2014, David opened Geelong's first indoor and trampoline centre, SupaTramp.

He has also led a successful career in the media as the former co-host of SEN 1116 and The Run Home alongside Mark Allen. He was also a former panellist on Channel 7's Game Day Program.

Nowadays, he works as a corporate speaker and MC, pushing others to face their demons and change their lives for the better. David captivates his audiences and leaves them deep in thought with stories of his glory days on the field and his darkest days as a gambler.


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