Devastating new detail comes to light after death of Paul Green

Paul Green, pictured here with his wife Amanda.
Paul Green's death at 49 has sent shockwaves through the rugby league community. Image: Getty

Craig Greenhill has revealed how good mate Paul Green had been battling mental health issues for the better part of 20 years, with even his family unaware he was struggling.

A beloved former NRL player and coach, Green was found unresponsive at his home in Brisbane two weeks ago.

Police later confirmed that there were no suspicious circumstances in the 49-year-old's death.

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Speaking to the Daily Telegraph over the weekend, Greenhill said he believes Green’s struggles began when he retired from playing rugby league in 2004.

“It’s been there a long time,” Greenhill said. “He first spoke about it probably 18 years ago.

“The NRL, it’s like a machine that can just spit you out. They (officials) are ruthless and they’ll throw people under the bus because it’s a result driven business.”

Greenhill and Green grew up together and played junior footy from the age of eight.

They went on to play State of Origin together for Queensland.

Greenhill said he believes Green wasn't struggling constantly and “was generally happy”, adding that he loved his wife and kids Amanda, Emerson and Jed.

Speaking to the Courier Mail on Sunday, Green's devastated parents said they had no idea about his mental health woes.

“We never expected to bury our baby boy,” mother Patricia said.

“His father Ned is just broken-hearted. We will survive somehow, but I will never understand it.

“I am just stunned, devastated, broken-hearted. I hope the feeling goes one day. We have cried ourselves out. There are no tears left. We are a tough old generation, I guess, and somehow we have to move on.

“But our lives will never be the same.”

Patricia said she no saw no signs that Green was struggling when she saw him just hours before his death at son Jed's birthday party.

“I had just left Paul a few hours before it happened. I kissed him and said goodbye, ‘I love you Paul, catch ya later’. Then off we went home,” she said.

“We couldn’t fathom why he would do it. We still can’t. It is against his beliefs. It is so hard to accept.”

Paul Green, pictured here at the post match media conference after a Cowboys game in 2019.
Paul Green speaks at the post match media conference after a Cowboys game in 2019. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Paul Green had interest in returning to coaching

The Sydney Morning Herald also reported on Sunday that Green had expressed his interest in coaching the Gold Coast Titans.

Green coached the Cowboys from 2014 to 2020, leading the club to their maiden premiership in 2015.

He became Queensland State of Origin coach in 2021, but lost the 'dream job' after the Maroons' series loss to NSW.

Wayne Bennett revealed last week that he was in talks to bring Green to the Dolphins next year as an assistant coach.

Meanwhile, Green's family have revealed they will donate his brain to assist research into repetitive head injuries and concussion.

Paul Green, pictured here before a North Queensland Cowboys game in 2019.
Paul Green looks on before a North Queensland Cowboys game in 2019. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Wife Amanda and their two children hope the donation to The Australian Sports Brain Bank (ASBB) will benefit research into one of modern sport's burning issues.

"He had a wonderful and enquiring mind, and he never backed away from asking the hard questions," Amanda said.

"We hope this donation will help us understand more about brain health and mental health and save lives in the future."

The ASBB, a partnership between Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, the University of Sydney and the Concussion Legacy Foundation, was formed to understand chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and other brain pathology associated with repetitive head injury in sport and elsewhere.

with AAP

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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