Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston has broken down on Channel 9 as he revealed his anger and sadness over the death of former coach Paul Green.
Green's death at 49 has sent shockwaves through the Australian sporting community after he was found unresponsive at his Brisbane home last week.
'HE WAS SICK': Kalyn Ponga's father responds to toilet cubicle video
'MY FIRST LOVE': Paul Green's former partner in devastating tribute
Police have since confirmed there are no suspicious circumstances in his death.
Speaking on Channel 9 on Monday night, Thurston broke down in tears in his first public comments since the death of his former coach.
Thurston and Green famously won a grand final together at the Cowboys in 2015 - the club's one and only premiership.
“Rollercoaster of emotions. It’s hard … I’m sad, I’m angry,” Thurston said.
“I think of Amanda (Green’s wife) and the kids. It just breaks my heart."
Thurston made the heartbreaking revelation that Green was always the one checking in with his mates to make sure they were doing okay.
“He was still like the rock for everyone else," he revealed.
“He was saying, ‘Give me a call if you need to chat. You’ve got so much to live for. You’ve got health, family, kids’.
“So it just doesn’t make sense.”
Thurston was in the air flying from Townsville to Sydney last Thursday when news of Green's death emerged.
The Cowboys legend was so distraught that he flew straight back to Townsville and was given the weekend off commentary duties for Channel 9.
A heartbroken Johnathan Thurston has opened up for the first time on the devastating loss of Paul Green.
The duo combined to deliver the @nthqldcowboys an historic first premiership and Thurston says it's still hard to comprehend that his great mate is gone. @DanikaMason9 #9News pic.twitter.com/BjnmMYyU3p
— 9News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) August 15, 2022
Paul Green 'lost and confused' before tragic death
Green is survived by wife Amanda and children Emerson and Jed.
Speaking last week, former North Queensland chairman Laurence Lancini said he believes Green was 'lost and confused' in the lead-up to his tragic death.
Green coached the Cowboys from 2014 to 2020 before becoming Queensland State of Origin coach in 2021.
However he lost the State of Origin job after the Maroons' series loss to NSW, leaving him in between jobs.
“Greeny mentioned he was keen to coach again and had some options and I asked Greeny if he really wanted to go back into it again,” Lancini told News Corp.
“I said to Paul, the last club you coached, you took the Cowboys to the premiership and you took us to two grand finals. Just leave coaching behind and do something else.
“But Greeny still had that real drive. He wanted to coach again.
“Greeny has come from a position where he coached a club to a premiership and a second grand final. He has coached State of Origin. He has coached at the highest levels and I think Greeny was a bit lost and confused about where his life needed to be without coaching.
“The thing about Greeny is he was a high achiever and high achievers always want to be achieving something.
“The last few years have been a bit tough on him because he hasn’t been coaching in the NRL. I said to Greeny, just take your time and the right opportunity will come along.”
Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett later revealed that he'd offered Green an assistant coaching job at the Redcliffe-based club for their inaugural season in the NRL in 2023.
“He made a great contribution and he had a lot of coaching in front of him,” Bennett said on Triple M radio.
“I offered him a position at the Dolphins in the last three weeks. Three weeks ago now we were in negotiations at the time.
“I think he was keen to come, but we were just trying to work out a contract for him. That’s how much I thought of him.”
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.