Timothy John Ward was born in 1965 in Waitara, Taranaki, New Zealand, and is better known as Tim Sharky. A lone wolf from the outset, Tim was given up for adoption at birth and, after a misspent youth, he moved to Australia to make a new life for himself in 1990.
Often referred to as The Gold Coast King, a reference to the period of time he worked as a loan shark on Australia’s Gold Coast, the name “Sharky” comes from a childhood spent in pool halls hustling for money on tables, a name which later ironically represented his work as a loan shark. His name is symbolized by a shoulder tattoo that displays a shark holding money.
Other notable tattoos on Tim’s body include the words “self-made” tattooed across his knuckles and “No retreat, no remorse”, tattooed on his arms, in reference to his famous court battle in 2002. He also has the words “Army of One” tattooed around his neck.
Timothy Ward’s reputation on the Gold Coast as a “gangster/mafia” type figure was borne out of numerous accusations of violence during his years as a loan shark, many of which were raised but never proven in a court case against his company Shark Financial Services. Many have also speculated on his involvement with underworld activities and well-know mafia figures.
In 2002, a court case deemed Shark Financial Services to have been involved in illegal business practices, and as a result Tim was ordered to pay $270,000 in fines relating to many of his loan contracts not being in compliance with Australian law.
Shark Financial Services’ interest rates were said to vary from 156% to 208% per annum, rising to as much as 360% if payments were late. Shark Financial Services was said to have thrived on lending money to those in dire financial need, supporting illegal drug habits, or perhaps even drug dealers themselves.
Tim is well-know in Australia for his flamboyance and flash cars, and at one time he owned a yellow Lamborghini, a white Lamborghini and an orange Lamborghini. Although it is said that many of his assets were seized during the court case, he still owns a property and nightclubs in Australia. He has since gone on record as saying all that stuf is “fake, worthless bullshit”.
Tim currently lives between Australia and his now second home, Pattaya, Thailand: a coastal resort approximately two hours from Bangkok, known globally as a hub of prostitution and popular destination for sex tourists.
Since Tim’s arrival in 2009, he has become a staple feature of the town, with many tourists seeking him out for a picture. He spends much of his time in the gym, both training hard as he has done since he was 16, and showing younger guys how to sculpt out a powerful physique.
Among locals Tim is known as an animal lover, and is regularly seen feeding dogs. His love for animals stems from a childhood as a relative outcast, something that has compelled him to protect the most vulnerable in society. In his own words,
“I grew up on the streets. I never had parents. That was a big part of it. I was picked on when I was a kid. A boy brought me home with him and his parents pulled him inside and slammed the door. I was that kid.”
Since Tim’s move to Thailand and subsequent presence in online forums and on social networks, his notoriety has grown. Interest in his past continues to gain momentum, and he has attracted a global legion of fans who view him as somewhat iconic; a modern-day personification of the Alpha male.
However, many feel that Tim’s personal life, which regularly sees him posing with young prostitutes in and around his Pattaya-based apartment, erases any moral admiration one might choose to place on his “gentle giant” approach to animals, children and fans. Tim’s response to his critics is simply that the girls are complicit, the arrangement transactional and that all the girls are over the legal age of consent. In his own words,
“I’ve nothing to hide, I only doing what millions of other men do behind closed doors, and what many others want to do but are restricted in doing by their own moral dilemma”.
Soft at heart Tim may be, but a having led a life of hard-knocks he remains a force to be reckoned with. Even at the ripe age of 48, he doesn’t shy away from a challenge, and in recent times has thrown the gauntlet down to a number of keyboard warriors who have ‘called him out’ online. To date no one has taken up his offer of a $10,000 fight challenge.
Media sources have reported that both a film and book deal are being negotiated, both of which will document Tim’s life story and finally unearth the truth surrounding the rumour and speculation of this larger than life character.