Words: Matt Innes
The Australian sporting community has been shocked by the sudden death of NRL coach and former player Paul Green.
The premiership-winning coach and State Of Origin alum was found dead at his Brisbane home on Thursday 11 August, with investigations into the cause of death ongoing. He was 49. Paul is survived by his wife Amanda and son Jed, with the family releasing the following statement:
“Today we are devastated. We have lost a devoted husband, loving father and wonderful brother and son. We cannot find the words that would come close to expressing our feeling, however we would like to extend our thanks to those who have reached out to us with their love and support.
“Paul was loved by so many, and we know that this news will generate immense interest, however at this time we ask for privacy. Our family is still trying to understand this tragedy and we request space and time as we come to terms with this loss. Thank you.”
Though a postmortem will be conducted to determine cause of death, it is understood Paul was in good health.
Paul had an illustrious career in rugby league as both a player and a coach throughout the ‘90s and 2000s. A skilled halfback, Paul plied his trade for a number of professional teams starting with Easts Tigers in 1993 and continuing on to play for Cronulla Sharks, North Qld Cowboys, Sydney Roosters and Parramatta Eels, before ending his playing career at Brisbane Broncos in 2004.
Paul parlayed his playing experience into coaching, working with the Brisbane Broncos and other teams in ancillary positions before becoming head coach for North Queensland Cowboys in 2014 and serving as coach for the 2021 Queensland State of Origin side.
Paul’s passing is another great loss to the Australian sporting community, still dealing with the recent loss of cricket legends Rod Marsh, Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds.
The game of rugby league has lost another legend and our thoughts go out to Paul’s friends and family at this time. He will be remembered fondly for his playing prowess, coaching contributions and the love he devoted to the game.